Chelsea head coach Graham Potter said he already knows which three of his new signings will miss out on Champions League registration, conceding there are ‘awkward conversations’ ahead.
Chelsea spent over £300m to bring new players to Stamford Bridge this month, signing David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Badiashile, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk and Madueke with Enzo Fernandez also arriving for a British record transfer fee on deadline day.
The Blues also signed Malo Gusto from Lyon, with the right-back remaining with the French club until the end of the campaign.
But Chelsea are only allowed to register a maximum of three new players for the knockout stages of the Champions League where they play Borussia Dortmund at the last 16 stage this month.
With Gasto still on loan at Lyon and Santos waiting on a work permit, Potter must choose three from Fernandez, Mudryk, Felix, Badiashile, Fofana and Madueke with the deadline for squad changes at 11pm tonight.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Potter said decisions over who makes the cut have already been made and urged those who will be left ‘disappointed’ to be patient.
‘We have got a bit of time before we have to make the decision but we are aware of who we need to speak to,’ Potter said.
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‘Of course, there are going to be a few awkward questions.
‘That is the reality of it of where we are, a few awkward conversations because only 11 can play, only a certain amount can be in the squad so there will be some who are disappointed.
‘It is about being as honest, open and respectful and transparent as you can and create an environment where you respect the fact that people want to play and players want to compete and help the team.
‘But they have to be patient, make sure they are ready to play and perform to help us win.’
Felix was the only one of Chelsea’s January signings to join the club on loan but Potter insisted he will be in contention to make the squad.
Chelsea take on Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Friday where Fernandez could make his debut after his £106m move from Benfica.