Chelsea make shock omissions as spending spree impacts Champions League squad

UEFA rules state that only three new players can be registered for the knockout stages, forcing big-spending Chelsea to also omit three of their January signings.

Manager Graham Potter has opted to register his two marquee arrivals in Fernandez and Mudryk, who cost £107million and £88.5m apiece, and Atletico Madrid loanee Felix, who has significant experience in the competition.

Aubameyang was left out despite the option to instead omit youngster Carney Chukwuemeka or third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

He won’t be available as Chelsea travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie on February 15, with the return game at Stamford Bridge on March 7.

In-form defender Benoit Badiashile has also been left out after joining from Monaco for £35m at the start of the January transfer window.

Also not selected are winger Noni Madueke, who was signed from PSV Eindhoven for £29m, striker David Datro Fofana, a £10m arrival from Molde, and midfielder Andrey Santos, who joined for £16m from Vasco da Gama.

Having registered a 24-man squad for the group stage, Chelsea initially had one spot available on List A but freed up another after selling Jorginho to Arsenal for £12m on deadline day.

Aubameyang and the new signings have all had the decision explained to them by Potter ahead of the announcement on Friday.

Potter said: “We’re aware of who we need to speak to. They’re tough decisions, that’s for sure. And each player brings something but we had to decide on the overall make-up of the group, overall make-up of the squad and, yeah, look at it in that way.

Left out: Aubameyang will play no further part in the Champions League this season

/ PA

“There’s no other way to articulate it, to be honest.”

Chelsea are allowed to register an unlimited amount of players on List B but they need to be under 21 and have been at the club for at least two years.

They have added Lewis Hall, who is increasingly considered a first-team player. Long-term injury absentee Armando Broja was unable to be removed to create space due to his presence on List B and remains in the squad.

Chelsea have registered all their new signings in the Premier League due to less stringent rules in the English top-flight.

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