Chelsea’s woeful defence of the Premier League title means they highest they can finish this term is seventh.
Finishing that high would require Southampton not to pick up anymore points, while Liverpool would also need to struggle.
Ninth or tenth look more likely for the Blues and that means no European football for the first time since the 1996/97 season.
The west Londoners continue to be linked with some big names, such as Leonardo Bonucci and Radja Nainggolan, but many pundits suggest their absence from the continent’s top table will prevent them from making substantial signings.
However, history suggests that this momentary blip won’t dent Chelsea’s power in the transfer market substantially.
Indeed, Manchester United weren’t involved in European football last term, but still managed to sign quality players.
Luke Shaw was one of the most coveted young full-backs in the country when he joined the Red Devils, while Angel Di Maria also decided to make Old Trafford his home.
The Argentine playmaker was the man of the match in the Champions League final the season before he moved to Manchester and even he wasn’t put off by their failings.
In contrast, Liverpool returned to Europe’s top club competition last season after missing out on continental football the previous campaign.
Furthermore, they had not made the Champions League since 2009/10, but it didn’t seem to make much impact on their transfer policy.
Their star man Luis Suarez left for Barcelona, while Adam Lallana was the most they shelled-out-for player, costing £25m from Southampton.
Losing a key player and making their biggest signing from within the Premier League shows that the Champions League wasn’t enough of an incentive to lure players to Anfield and the long-term reputation of the club matters more than recent events.
Therefore, Chelsea should still be able to broker deals for world-class footballers this summer, but they need to make sure they don’t continually miss out on Europe.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.