Chelsea have not yet applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try to freeze the two-window transfer ban that they are still appealing as the club consider their options.
The Blues failed with an appeal to Fifa and confirmed they have taken their case to CAS in a bid to get their punishment for the signing of young, foreign players overturned.
But, as yet, Chelsea have not applied to CAS to suspend the ban while their appeal is considered with the club and lawyers deliberating over the best course of action.
It has emerged that even if they have to start serving the ban during the summer, Chelsea would be able to sign midfielder Mateo Kovacic and striker Gonzalo Higuain who have both been on loan at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are likely to step up their bid to turn midfielder Kovacic’s loan into a permanent deal following the news that Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be ruled out for up to a year after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon during this week’s post-season friendly in the United States.
Higuain’s future is less clear, with Chelsea yet to open talks over a permanent move and reluctant to pay the £15.5 million to extend his loan for another 12 months or the £31m to sign the Argentine.
Because both players are already registered with the club, Chelsea can sign either Kovacic or Higuain whether or not their transfer ban is overturned or frozen.
While it would seem obvious that Chelsea would try to have their ban frozen to allow them to sign players this summer, no matter the result of their appeal, there is a counter theory.
Some sources have floated the idea that Chelsea may be better to start serving their ban if lawyers believe that they will not be able to get it completely overturned.
A decision could also be influenced by whether or not the Blues feel their top transfer targets will be available this summer, or whether they would be better to wait until next year.
Winger Christian Pulisic will join Chelsea in the summer, having agreed his move in January, while David Luiz last week signed a new two-year contract.
The Blues also have a number of players returning from loan with right-back Reece James, midfielder Mason Mount and striker Tammy Abraham rated the most likely to be offered first-team chances.
Chelsea confirmed the worst fears over Loftus-Cheek by releasing a short statement that read: “Ruben Loftus-Cheek has seen a specialist today (Thursday) and will have surgery on his ruptured Achilles’ tendon this evening.
“The Chelsea midfielder left the pitch during the second half of yesterday’s game in the USA.”