Rio Ferdinand fears Chelsea will have to contend with a prospect of a mass player exodus unless there is fast resolution to the club’s ownership crisis.
The Premier League club are in a state of paralysis with the UK Government having sanctioned Roman Abramovich who is barred from making the sale he desired.
With their main sources of revenue cut off, the club are unable to negotiate new contracts and resolve the futures of players who having been seeking pay rises, or coming to the end of their current contracts.
Reports on Friday claimed players like Man City and Real Madrid are already circling with intent, eyeing the likes of Reece James who Guardiola is said to view as long-term successor to Kyle Walker.
‘If you take it back to the players, that uncertainty leads to anxiety, fear and not knowing is always the worst case scenario and that’s where these players sit,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘There will be players sitting there who are coming out of contracts going ‘there’s no way I’m staying’.
‘That could be a driver for a mass exodus of players who are saying we are potentially losing our best players, we could’ve re-signed but now they’ve gone I can’t commit to this, I want three or five years or certainty rather than looking at this thinking what if this goes to litigation over the next few years where do we sit with it all.
‘There are so many questions and moving parts it makes it difficult to really want to commit to a situation like that.’
Chelsea are back in action on Sunday afternoon against Newcastle, and Thomas Tuchel concedes it would be understandable if any of his players were feeling ‘frightened’ about the current situation.
‘Some players will feel uncertainty,’ he said. ‘Some maybe will be a bit frightened. Some will be concerned. It’s normal.
‘It’s not only the players,’ Tuchel added. ‘We have a lot of people on the staff, in the club who are maybe also worried and scared and uncertain.
‘That’s why it’s very important that we keep the trust and the belief in the training centre, in all of us. We didn’t cause the situation.’