As the days go by, it seems all the more likely that Chelsea’s transfer ban will begin this summer. Roman Abramovich and his lawyers have until the day of the Europa League final to file an appeal to CAS, but the fact that an appeal hasn’t already been submitted shows that they are most likely looking at taking the ban on the chin and dealing with its consequences sooner rather than later.
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The embargo will have major ramifications: Chelsea will be banned from registering new players for competitive matches for the next two windows, which would be this upcoming summer window and next season’s January window if the ban starts now. This would see Chelsea finally looking to their army of loan players to add depth to a squad in desperate need of rejuvenation.

What Chelsea can do during this embargo is plan for the future. That includes giving the youth a chance, but it can also include looking at some world-class players who have expiring contracts in just over a year’s time.

Obviously this is all hypothetical, any of the below players could sign a new contract at any point between now and the end of the ban, they may even get a transfer this summer, but here are 5 players I have picked out that could be picked up on a free transfer in the summer of 2020:

Nabil Fekir

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Despite being heavily linked to Liverpool in the past 12 months, Fekir is yet to leave his boyhood club Lyon after almost seven seasons in their first team.

Whether he wants to leave now or just run his contract down is unclear, and with further interest from Juventus and Spurs I would not be surprised if he did leave during this window.

If he doesn’t leave this summer however, Chelsea will only have to wait until January before they can offer him a contract that will begin once the transfer ban has finished.

An exceptionally gifted player with great technical ability, and has the versatility to play on either wing, in the number 10 role or as a false nine, signing Nabil Fekir on a free would be an outstanding bit of business.

Raphaël Guerreiro

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A pacey, technical wing-back who can also play further up the pitch in the midfield, Raphaël Guerreiro could be the left-back Chelsea have been missing for what seems like an eternity.

With rumours of an exit for Marcos Alonso this summer, Chelsea will be short in this area for the upcoming season; Emerson will most likely be our starting full-back, with Jay Dasilva potentially being brought in as back-up.

If this was the case, I’d evaluate them over the season. If both are brilliant, then there’s no need in signing a third. If one is considerably worse than the other, sell the lesser player and bring in Raphaël Guerreiro. He’s top-class.

Timo Werner

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This is another player who is heavily linked with a move this summer, with Bayern Munich and Liverpool (shock) showing major interest in the 23 year old.

An energetic striker with a superb work-rate, pin-point finishing and electric pace, Werner would be a perfect fit for the Premier League and would be one of the signings of the decade if we managed to snipe him on a free.

This is highly unlikely however, with more and more signs pointing towards a summer move. Let’s just hope the scousers don’t get him!

Thomas Meunier

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Linked with moves to Manchester United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Everton in the past few months, Thomas Meunier is a right-back that should be at the top of every manager’s wish list.

At 6’3’’, he is a colossal figure in a back four who can cross and shoot from just about anywhere on the pitch.

He would be 28 years old by the time we could sign him however, and with the quality of our young right-backs coming through at the moment like Reece James, Ola Aina and Dujon Sterling, I’d hate to see Meunier blocking their paths into the first-team. Let’s just hope James has as good a season as he did last year.

Pablo Sarabia

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This is probably the least likely to happen. Not because he is necessarily the best player on this list, but because of the ridiculous release clause in his current contract.

How has no one picked this guy up yet? Sarabia has directly contributed to 26 goals in 33 games for Sevilla in La Liga this season, he only has 12 months left on his current deal, and his release clause is reportedly an almost laughable €18m. That’s under £16m.

His performances have attracted the interest of a multitude of clubs, including Arsenal, Inter Milan and Spanish giants Real Madrid, but no club has actually activated his release clause yet. If for some reason no club does, Chelsea could look to bring him in for even less money for the summer of 2020.