Chelsea have agreed to send Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan to Fulham, but decided against rivalling Arsenal for midfielder Thomas Partey after exits for a number of other players fell through.
Partey had been identified as an alternative to Declan Rice to strengthen head coach Frank Lampard’s defensive midfield options.
But, as revealed by Telegraph Sport last Friday, Chelsea were waiting to see whether or not they could sell any players before making a late bid for either Partey or Rice.
Selling Antonio Rudiger, who has fallen down Lampard’s pecking order, may have sparked a bid for Partey, whose £45 million release clause would then have been well within range.
But a move to Tottenham Hotspur fell through and Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan eventually backed away from making a bid for the German international.
Chelsea had wanted Rudiger to sign a new contract to leave on loan, something he was not prepared to do, which left a permanent move as his only way of potentially leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the summer window.
Having turned down West Ham United, Rudiger will now stay with Chelsea at least until January, as will left-backs Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, who had both been linked with moves to Italy.
Talks between Chelsea and Juventus over Emerson broke down as quickly as they started, while Inter Milan could not even afford a loan deal for either him or Alonso.
That meant Chelsea were unable to raise significant money on loan fees or secure the insurance of obligations for clubs to buy their players.
Chelsea had to agree to part-fund Loftus-Cheek’s £150,000-a-week wages to send him to Fulham in search of first-team football.
Loftus-Cheek spent a year out injured before returning after the coronavirus restart last season, but has not played for Chelsea this term since their opening victory over Brighton.
Chelsea still value Loftus-Cheek extremely highly, but the player and Lampard felt it best he go out on loan to help his match fitness. Chelsea normally insist clubs cover all of the wages of their loanees, but made a special case of Loftus-Cheek to try to help the 24-year-old.
Central defender Fikayo Tomori also requested to leave Chelsea on loan to gain more Premier League experience elsewhere, which alerted West Ham.
Lampard had initially blocked Tomori’s exit as Chelsea tried to offload Rudiger, but the situation changed on Monday afternoon after it became clear Rudiger would have to stay.
West Ham’s move for Tomori appeared to break down late on Monday night, with the player seemingly destined to remain at Stamford Bridge for at least the first half of the campaign.
Everton had been hoping to sign Tomori on loan, but they instead signed Ben Godfrey on a permanent transfer from Norwich City when it appeared Chelsea would refuse to allow Tomori to leave.
Despite, like many clubs, finding it more difficult than normal to offload players, Chelsea will certainly view this transfer window as a success, having landed virtually all of their major targets during a spending spree that exceeded £200 million.