Chelsea ready to offload Sturridge as part of summer clear out

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is preparing to step up his summer clear out with striker Daniel Sturridge set to be the first high profile casualty.

Abramovich is desperate to flush the dead wood out of Stamford Bridge in pre-season with the aim of trimming the wage bill and making room for potential new arrivals.

The Russian oligarch has already signed Eden Hazard from Lille for £32 million and Marko Marin from Werder Bremen for manager Roberto Di Matteo this summer and is reportedly close to tying up a big money deal for Porto striker Hulk.

That has brought the futures of several players into question including that of Sturridge who, despite netting 13 times last season, has admitted he wants to leave West London after Di Matteo was installed as permanent boss earlier this month.

The 22-year-old fell of out of favour under the Italian citing him as the reason for missing out on the England squad and is now prepared to quit the club with Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham waiting in the wings.

Its also thought Abramovich is willing to let senior players Yossi Benayoun, Michael Essien, Raul Meireles and Florent Malouda leave should the club receive acceptable offers for the trio.

Meanwhile he is also trying to broker loan deals for the younger members of the squad who are unlikely to see much first team action during the upcoming campaign.

Winger Gael Kakuta along with defenders Patrick Van Aanholt and Sam Hutchison are being offered to teams in England and around Europe.

Belgian youngster Romelu Lukaku is also set for a temporary switch just a year after joining Chelsea for £20 million from Anderlecht after struggling to break into the first team picture.

The 20-year-old has made just four starts since arriving and admitted at the end of May that he will hold talks with the clubs management but needs to go out on loan in order to get some game time.

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