While many of Chelsea’s men’s first team will be wallowing in the highs and lows of the Euro 2020 tournament, which starts tonight, the business element of the game continues unabated as the board seek to improve on Chelsea’s lucky final four finish in the Premier League.
Irrespective of winning the Champions League, which gave them automatic entry into next season’s competition, it was only thanks to Tottenham’s win over Leicester on the final day that ensured the Blues snatched the fourth and final spot, as they lost away to Aston Villa.
The club will have viewed it as a failure by head coach Thomas Tuchel to secure the expected top four finish on their terms but the German has enough goodwill currency under his belt that he was forgiven and even given a contract extension following the 1-0 Champions League win against Manchester City in Porto.
The club has extended Olivier Giroud’s contract by a year. It’s understood this was a touch and go decision, as Giroud was looking to go to Italy to gain regular minutes on the pitch.
But the club took the view in April, when contract talks needed to be sorted, that because there was so much riding on the season – and the Euros started before his deal expired at the end of this month – it was prudent to exercise their right to extend his contract.
Thiago Silva also had his contract extended for another year.
Chelsea Women’s Jess Carter has signed a year’s contract extension, while youngster Jamie-Lee Napier has been binned by the club.
Carter, 23, said: “I’ve grown so much here at this club, both on and off the pitch. I’ve hit a point now where I know what is expected of me, I know what I need to bring to the table, and I feel like I’m in a position now where I’m finally starting to compete with some of the girls.
“There is more that I can do here at Chelsea to help the team and I’m really excited to see what we can go on and achieve after this successful year.”
General manager Paul Green said: “Jess has really stepped up this season and found her stride.
“She came into the team at a crucial point in the season and showed an assurance and calmness that is needed at the business end of a season. Indeed, having some of her best performances during the latter stages our Champions League run.”
Carter’s name goes alongside Sophie Ingle, Fran Kirby, Maren Mjelde and Carly Telford, who has recently signed on for more Blues’ action next season.
Dutch defender, Aniek Nouwen, joins in the summer.
But is goodbye to Napier, who only joined Chelsea from Hibernian Ladies last season.
She made three appearances before being sent out on loan to Birmingham City.
Head coach Emma Hayes said: “Jamie’s a young player and will continue to improve with regular game time. She has a bright future ahead and we wish her all the best in her next chapter.”