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Chelsea risky transfer decision backfires after latest announcement with £35m FFP problem

Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen
-Credit: (Image: INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)


Euro 2024 could have a big impact on some of Chelsea's transfer activity. Not only have the Blues in the past shown an impulse to sign players that perform well on the big stage, but it is also a shop window effect.

With exits just as important as arrivals this summer for Chelsea's push to remain complaint with Premier League financial rules - though not for the 2023/24 season, which the club are adamant they will meet without the need for sale - it is a big month or so coming up. Two of those who could land themselves moves are Armando Broja and Ian Maatsen.

The pair are both coming off contrasting seasons as well. Maatsen, like Broja, was rarely used under Mauricio Pochettino before he left on loan in January, where he went on to excel at Borussia Dortmund. Broja, though, left to join Fulham in search of more minutes.

Now they are two of a group that Chelsea are expected to part ways with before the start of the 2024/25 season begins. As academy graduates who represent 'pure profit' on the accounts, they are deemed the most sellable assets.

Whereas there is no ceiling to the amount that Chelsea could bring in for Broja, there is a decreasing floor. Having previously been after as much as £50million that is now closer to just £35million. Getting even that much for a player without much of a Premier League record will also be a challenge.

Part of their happiness to enter Euro 2024 with Broja still their player is that a good performance for Albania could raise his value. The same is now true of Maatsen.

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He had been on his holidays this week following the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund, but now he is set to play a role for Ronald Koeman in Germany. Following injuries to both Teun Koopmeiners and Frenkie de Jong, Maatsen has been called up.

He will join the Dutch team at their training camp in Wolfsburg ahead of the tournament. Despite not being a like-for-like replacement for either of the two midfielders, Maatsen does have experience playing centrally.

The 22-year-old often played there for the Holland youth sides and naturally inverted for Burnley under Vincent Kompany during the 2022/23 Championship season. At Coventry he sometimes even took on an attacking midfield role, such was his ability.

Just how much game time Maatsen will get at the Euros is unclear but it may well impact his Chelsea future. Dortmund are keen to sign him permanently after his successful loan but have so far not triggered the £35million release clause in his contract.

Chelsea added that into his deal when offering him new terms earlier this year before the loan. Seemingly to ensure that they get what is deemed a good price for the player when he is sold as much as to avoid entering his final 12 months at the club.

Now, the issue is that instead of tying Chelsea down to a decent price for a player that is not yet proven in the Premier League, the club risk losing Maatsen for what is below his true value. Should he get the chance to impress at the Euros for the Netherlands it would leave his release clause sitting just £5million more than the price Chelsea accepted last summer.

Burnley made their play with Vincent Kompany in charge to bring Maatsen back for their top-flight adventure only for the Chelsea youngster to reject the offer. Chelsea themselves had been willing to let him go.

In the season since, even with six months spent largely on the bench and unused, Maatsen's value has surely risen by more than £5million. Chelsea will leave themselves open to letting him go for less than they could realistically get though. The Euros could make a deal for Broja but break the system with Maatsen.