Chelsea had no option but to spend this summer due to errors made by Roman Abramovich, it has been claimed
Chelsea’s record-breaking spending splurge in the summer transfer window is a direct result of inattentiveness from both Roman Abramovich and his former chief transfer guru at Stamford Bridge, Marina Granovskaia, according to a representative of former Blues defender Antonio Rudiger.
Abramovich, who sold the club to a consortium fronted by US businessman Todd Boehly in May, was unable to furnish starting defenders Rudiger and Danish international Andreas Christensen with new contracts amid sanctions imposed on his business assets by the UK government due to supposed ties to the Kremlin following the onset of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
The two star defenders instead moved to Spain, with Rudiger inking a four-year deal with Real Madrid and Christensen agreeing to join Barcelona.
Coupled with the prior departures of academy defenders Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori, this left Chelsea badly in need of defensive cover ahead of the 2022-23 season – and saw Boehly open his checkbook to purchase Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana for a combined fee in the region of £167 million ($192 million).
And according to Saif Rubie, who sat alongside Boehly during Chelsea’s 2-1 win against West Ham on Saturday, the club’s new ownership group cite supposed blind spots in Abramovich’s final months as forcing their hand in the transfer market.
“The new regime had to come and pick up the pieces of decisions that were made by the old regime,” Rubie said to talkSPORT.
“Things like letting the lad (Guehi) go to Crystal Palace, who was also a defender, letting another (Tomori) go for not a lot of money to AC Milan.
“When I spoke to the new regime, I said the old regime cost you £100 million. Do you know what they said to me? ‘More’.”
Rubie claimed that Rudiger had been more than content to remain at Chelsea and was even eyeing the captaincy for if and when Cesar Azpilicueta steps down, but that their hand was forced when Chelsea left the situation too late before being hamstrung by sanctions.
“What if I told you Chelsea, and the old regime, basically made next to no effort to keep the player. At the time he was very happy to stay and potentially be the captain of the club,” he said, also adding that Rudiger was offered just half of what flop signing Romelu Lukaku was earning.
Chelsea summer spending spree surpasses $250 million
The German international subsequently signed a four-year deal with Real Madrid after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer.
Chelsea’s summer spending also included the captures of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and former Arsenal and Barcelona player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as a host of promising young players.
The Todd Boehly regime has got off to a somewhat rocky start even after their colossal spend this summer, losing two of their first six Premier League games to Leeds United and Southampton.