By Editor Wayne Veysey 

Chelsea will begin a dramatic overhaul of their underperforming squad in the new year, just months after cakewalking to the Premier League title by eight points.

A Chelsea recruitment source has told Football Insider that up to nine players are set to be shipped out and replaced in a major shake-up of the team.

With the overhaul set to take place irrespective of whether Jose Mourinho stays on as manager, Football Insider analyses which players the club will push out of the exit door in 2016.

Roman Abramovich is weighing up whether to axe manager Jose Mourinho

Axe man: Abramovich will sanction one of the biggest clear-outs of his 12-year reign

Player: Cesc Fabregas

Age: 28

Contract expires: 2019

From untouchable to unfathomable. Of all the drops from the summit of the Chelsea big-hitters, none is more pronounced than that of Cesc Fabregas. The conductor of the orchestra in the first half of last season has failed to hit the high notes for virtually a year. That is a lengthy and worrying decline. Arsene Wenger turned down the chance to re-sign Fabregas for £30million last year because he felt the Spaniard had already showed early signs of having peaked. Increasingly, it appears the man who knows Fabregas better than most was right.

Player: Oscar

Age: 24

Contract expires: 2019

The Brazilian arrived in the same summer as Eden Hazard but has failed to match the smooth progress of his fellow attacking midfielder. Oscar was influential in the early months of last season’s title-winning campaign but fell down the pecking order in the final months of the season. He has been in and out of the team this season and there is a feeling among the coaching staff that his touch game is not ideally suited to the rigours of the Premier League, particularly in tricky away matches. Chelsea are now ready to cash in on the £25million signing from Internacional. Should any club be willing to come close to matching the Blues’ £40million valuation – there is interest from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain – then a sale next year is highly likely.

Deepening division: The relationship between manager and captain has disintegrated

Player: John Terry

Age: 35

Contract expires: 2016

The skipper is fighting for his future and knows it. He turned 35 earlier this month and if he could have a pound for every pundit who says his legs have gone, Terry could go some way to paying off the FA fines incurred this season by Mourinho.  The former England captain has been honest enough to admit his form this season has been iffy and that he is doing all he can to reach his commanding heights of old. For all his famed desire and competitiveness, it is hard to see Terry at Stamford Bridge in 2016/17. Terry was substituted after 51 minutes against Leicester for only only the second time in his Chelsea career – the first was against Manchester City back in August. On Monday nights next season, he is more likely to be seen on Sky Sports’ flagship football programme than attempting to nullify forwards he would have eaten for breakfast at his peak.

Moody blues: Radamel Falcao is a shadow of his former self

Moody blues: Radamel Falcao is a shadow of his former self

Player: Radamel Falcao

Age: 29

Contract expires: 2016

Before signing him on a season-long loan, Mourinho spoke confidently of restoring the Colombian to the form that once made him one of the most feared strikers on the planet. Those have proved to be hollow words as Falcao has somehow pulled off the trick of looking even more ineffective in a blue shirt than he was in the red of Manchester United last season. The 29-year-old has contributed a single goal to date and, in truth, looks a spent force at the highest level. The chances of him being at Stamford Bridge beyond next summer are non-existent and Chelsea will look to find him another club in the January window.

Easy meat: Branislav Ivanovic has struggled against mobile left-wingers this season

Easy meat: Branislav Ivanovic has struggled against mobile left-wingers this season

Player: Branislav Ivanovic

Age: 31

Contract expires: 2016

The best right-back in the Premier League last season has metamorphosed into meat and drink for any left-winger with a trick and a turn of pace. Mourinho has kept the faith with the long-serving defender. For now. Agreement on a contract extension has been in place for some time but the ruthless hierarchy might decide the money would be better spent on a player with his best years ahead of him.

Fringe player: Loic Remy has been stand-in to Diego Costa during his Chelsea spell

Fringe player: Loic Remy has been stand-in to Diego Costa during his Chelsea spell

Player: Loic Remy

Age: 28

Contract expires: 2018

A prolific scorer in the Premier League and Ligue 1, the France international has found opportunities hard to come by at Stamford Bridge, where he has played second fiddle to Diego Costa even during the Brazilian’s extended troubles. Remy’s Chelsea strike rate is decent enough – 12 goals in 39 matches – but he does not appear to have the backing of Mourinho, who bizarrely preferred the pedestrian Falcao to the far more dynamic Frenchman before injury to the former gave him no choice. Remy has started just three of Chelsea’s 18 matches this season and it is unlikely such a proven goalscorer will spend much longer idling his time on the bench. A compromise of a transfer next summer is the likely outcome for the much-travelled front man.

Long serving: Mikel has been at Chelsea for nine years

Blue blooded: Mikel has been at Chelsea for nine years

Player: John Obi Mikel

Age: 28

Contract expires: 2017

If you cut were to him up, the midfielder would no doubt bleed blue, such is the length of his association with Chelsea. But the Nigerian’s days of being a first choice have long since disappeared and he has started just five of the club’s 24 matches this season. Mikel’s experience and water carrier abilities remain attractive to Mourinho, especially when a lead needs to be preserved (rare as that may be, these days), but the Londoners will listen to offers for one of their longest-serving players next summer.

Moody blues: Diego Costa has been off the boil this season

Moody blues: Diego Costa has been off the boil this season

And two more……

Player: Diego Costa

Age: 27

Contract expires: 2019

Has the accolade of being the last of the Chelsea first-teamers to have been dropped from the starting X1 this season, but that should not be mistaken for meaning the controversial striker’s future at the club is secure. Or that he is as important as he appears to think he is. One of the worst-kept secrets at the Bridge is that Costa is hankering after a return to his adopted home of Spain. That was even the case last season, when his goals were decisive in the team’s Premier League title. With the net now bulging once a month rather than once a match, Costa’s thoughts are said to remain fixed on a change of club. One strong possibility is a return to former employers Atletico Madrid, with the intriguing possibility of a part-exchange with the in-demand Antoine Griezmann.

Player: Eden Hazard

Age: 24

Contract expires: 2020

The Belgian’s fall from grace has precisely mirrored that of his team this season. But it is a sign of Hazard’s status as he reigning Footballer of the Year that the Spanish giants are closely monitoring his availability. Whether he could walk straight into either the Real Madrid or Barcelona starting X1 on present form is unlikely. But Hazard’s potential is immense and his class undeniable. The interests of the two clubs is genuine and agents are falling over themselves to help engineer a high profile transfer to Spain for the 24-year-old next summer.