Explained: How losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen inspired Chelsea's bizarre policy of handing out extremely long contracts to stars like Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez

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Mykhailo Mudryk Chelsea 2023-24
Chelsea's unusual policy of handing long contracts to new signings can be traced back to the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
  • Chelsea signing players to long contracts
  • Policy started after Boehly takeover
  • Blues want to avoid losing stars for free

WHAT HAPPENED? Since Todd Boehly's consortium took ownership of the club, Chelsea have signed the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo and Nicolas Jackson to contracts of eight years or more, while Romeo Lavia, Noni Madueke, Robert Sanchez, Benoît Badiashile and others signed deals of around seven years.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: That policy began after the club lost defenders Rudiger and Christensen in free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, according to The Telegraph. The pair left early after the takeover from Roman Abramovich and the new owners decided that longer contracts would help avoid them losing star players for free. Three years into a two-year contract, they believed, gave them a short window in which to decide if they should open talks over a new deal or risk losing a key figure for free.

New ownership's hope is that by doing so, they will not lose key players to the squad on unexpected free transfers.

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Antonio Rudiger Real Madrid 2023-24

Andreas Christensen Bacelona 2023-24

Todd Boehly 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? The London side, who have won just one of their four Premier League games this season, are in action against Bournemouth on Sunday.