With the closing of the January transfer window fast approaching and just the one player in Gary Cahill signed, will Roman Ambramovich be tempted to dive into his wallet and spend more of his Russian roubles?
There is no doubt Chelsea have struggled to find consistency in their league form this term with regards to that of previous seasons. But with all still to play for in the Champions league and the F.A Cup still a possible avenue for silverware should the West-Londoners strengthen in a bid to turn a somewhat frustrating season into a success?
With the current window being renowned for panic buys, over priced players and bidding wars it is no surprise Premier League clubs are refraining from being forced into buying for the short term rather than the long run.
In this window last year Chelsea spent over £70 million bringing in Fernando Torres and David Luiz demonstrating the hefty prices clubs demand for their prized assets at this time of the year.
With Chelsea linked with many names throughout the month I take a look at some potential targets.
Kevin De Bruyne: The 20-year old Belgian is currently in London holding talks about an £8 million switch from Genk to Stamford Bridge. A bright winger with 2 international caps to his name who fits into the AVB policy of signing for the future. The deal is thought to be thrashed out by the end of the week, with the midfielder expected to return to Genk on loan for the remainder of the season. His signature would represent Chelsea’s third raid from Belgian football in just 6 months with Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois having already parted for West London. At £8 million it is no surprise Chelsea have been dipping into the Belgian market as of late, a good bit of business for the club.
Willian: The Brazilian international who currently ply’s his trade at Shakhtar Donetsk has stated his desire to move to the blues, but being cup tied for the Champions league Andre Villas Boas is reportedly not so keen to move in on the 23-year old until the summer. Contrary to this Shakhtar have claimed they have rejected a £16.7 million bid from Chelsea already. Willian is a player I personally really rate and would like to see in the Premier League but in this window it does seem a long shot, and also with Donetsk said to be holding out of a figure closer to the £30 million mark, I’m not so sure they will force Chelsea’s hand even come the summer.
Eden Hazard: Lille’s 21-year old wonder-kid is currently hot property in European football with some of footballs most reputable clubs said to be interested in acquiring the youngster’s signature. Earlier in the month one newspaper reported Chelsea had provisionally agreed terms for the Belgian playmaker and that his agent expected a bid of £25 million to be tabled. But with a potential bidding war probable in the summer and the likes of Real Madrid and Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspurs reportedly chasing the midfielder, a deal in January for £25 million seems unlikely but would represent a massive coup. Hazard possesses raw talent in abundance being renowned for his trickery and pace he has 7 goals and 5 assists in 20 Ligue 1 appearances this season. Former blue now team-mate of Hazard, Joe Cole once claimed Hazard will go on to become the world’s best player. This would be a significant signing if Chelsea were to pull it off, but I can’t help but feel Lille will not sell until the summer given the players revered status.
Stevan Jovetic: Chelsea are reported to have had a £14 million bid rejected for the Fiorentina and Montenegro striker. The Italians are said to have put a £20 million price tag on the player who signed a 5 year contract extension just 3 months ago. At 22 he’s found his feet quickly in Serie A, most English football fans will remember him most for netting twice in the Champions League against Liverpool. Despite missing the whole of last season the forward with the crazy hair has proved he can cut it at La Viola with 9 goals in 15 Serie A appearances this season. Will he fit into the Chelsea way? Probably not, but he does fit into the AVB way who is looking to rejuvenate Chelsea into a much younger squad. Potentially a hit or miss transfer for Chelsea, but nonetheless a real handful due to his physical presence to any defence.
Lucas: Sao Paulo’s Brazilian international attacking midfielder has been linked with both Chelsea and Italian giants Inter Milan. Touted as one of the best prospects to emerge from South America in recent years it is no surprise a release clause to be believed in the region of £66 million has been placed on him by Sao Paulo. This along with his agents words suggest he is most likely staying put for the time being, but don’t be surprised if Chelsea and Milan both revive their interest in the summer. Somebody who if signed this year could prove a shrewd bit of business for Andre Villas Boas. Should remain on Chelsea’s radar after January.
All in all there are some brilliant players being linked with the club, namely young which is healthy for Chelsea, with the likes of Romelu, Lukaku, MCeachran Sturridge, and Mata already at the club there is certainly a basis for the future which with a few more additions would seem very sensible and exciting. Despite Lampard’s goals this season there is no doubt at 33, Chelsea need to look to bring in another attacking midfielder and Willian could be the man. With Anelka seemingly not interested at Chelsea anymore and it looking increasingly apparent Drogba will leave come the end of the season a striker is needed to help ease the pressure off Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres. However it seems the whole right back crisis will be left until the summer, but come deadline day anything can happen!