CHELSEA faces losing its next generation of stars unless the Government changes its mind on signing new contracts.
Several of the club’s brightest talents emerging from the academy are up for new deals and face an uncertain future under the current terms of the operating license.
UK Government sanctions placed upon Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic prohibit the signing of new players and also negotiations to keep existing ones.
Manager Thomas Tuchel is not only concerned about the effects on the first team but right down the pyramid at Stamford Bridge.
England Under-17 World Cup winner George McEachran, 21, is a budding talent whose contract is about to expire having been at Chelsea since the age of eight.
Teenage midfielder Xavier Simons, 19, is one of the most highly-rated in the U23 squad and is also due to hold contract talks soon.
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A Blues insider told SunSport: “Everyone is focussed on the players in the first team who are out of contract but the ones we feel really sorry for are the youngsters.
“Now is the time when the boys start talking about new contracts with the club and everyone is in the dark.
“They are the ones coming through and if Chelsea are not allowed to sign new contracts with them it’s a huge blow to both parties.”
Forward Thierno Ballo (20), defensive pair Sam McLelland (20) and Josh Brooking (19) and midfielder Dion Rankine’s (19) contracts all expire in the summer.
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Austrian U21 international midfielder Ballo has been with the Blues since 2018 and is currently back in his homeland on loan at Austria Vienna.
Defender McClelland is yet to make his senior bow for Chelsea but the starlet has been capped by Northern Ireland already.
Brooking joined the Blues’ academy in 2018 and is still yet to make an appearance for the first-team, but the club were keen to secure his future by handing him a one-year pro deal last summer.
And Rankine is also highly-thought of and is a regular for England’s U18s.
Chelsea has become a symbol of promoting youth from within in recent years with midfielder and club vice-captain Mason Mount, forward Callum Hudson-Odoi, defenders Reece James, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah all progressing to become first-team regulars.
Chelsea and the Premier League are in the dark about what the rules are concerning the club’s future.
The Government says Chelsea can continue to fulfill its fixtures but ultimately it needs to have players around to do that in the short and medium-term.
It comes amid claims in the Daily Mirror that Chelsea’s academy ‘is facing meltdown’ as Premier League rivals begin to circle for their talented teens.
They state that agents of players in the Under-16 age group ‘have been fielding calls from rivals clubs looking to lure them away’ with worried parents ‘actively considering their options’.
They also fear that academy chiefs Neil Bath and Jim Fraser may also be poached themselves.
Chelsea’s development squad are currently in the Premier League 2 relegation zone with just seven games left.
And if they fail to beat the drop then they will be playing a much lower standard of football next term.
Eight of the 14 teams in the division below are attached to Championship clubs while another represents League One Sunderland.
The Premier League is hopeful a new buyer for Chelsea can be found soon but that is not easing the uncertainty being felt in every department of the European champions.
There are reportedly as many as 200 investors interested in buying Chelsea amid huge interest in taking the reins at the Premier League giants.
Suitors are reported to have until this Friday's deadline to submit a 'detailed background report' on all of their backers.
And in the new climate of greater scrutiny surrounding ownership of football clubs, interested parties are being asked to outline their 'motives' before they enter the bidding process.
American investment banking giant Raine are representing Chelsea on the sale of the club.
Blues director Marina Granovskaia is also offering interested groups guidance during the process.
Chelsea's Russian owner Abramovich put the club up for sale at the start of March in the wake of his country's invasion of Ukraine.
The sale has been complicated by the government's decision to place sanctions on Abramovich which stop him doing business in the UK.
High-profile names linked with a Chelsea takeover include British property tycoon Nick Candy, and Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak.
Saudi Media have reportedly bid £2.7billion for the Stamford Bridge club and want to renovate the ageing stadium.
Headed by Chelsea fan Mohamed Alkhereiji, the private consortium are receiving 'support in finding funding and backers' from Mohammed bin Khalid Al Saud.
Khalid Al Saud is chair of the Saudi Telecom Company, which is a state-owned company in which the Public Investment Fund owns shares.
Meanwhile, on the pitch the Blues travel to France this week looking to put their woes to one side and advance to the last-eight of the Champions League.
They face Lille tomorrow aiming to defend their 2-0 lead from the first leg.
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