Transfer Focus: Ba is in, so where do Chelsea now need to strengthen?

Marouane Fellaini

Chelsea have had perhaps the most eventful season of all the Premier League sides so far, with a fantastic start scuppered by a run of poor form that saw them exit the Champions League. With the ship now fairly steady under Rafa Benitez, how active will they be in the transfer market?

Where the team needs to strengthen

Despite his recent resurgence, the form of Fernando Torres is still a worry, and with Sturridge perhaps leaving, Chelsea clearly need to sign at least one striker. Benitez could also do with another defensive midfielder, with cover required due to Romeu’s long term injury.

Top targets

Given Chelsea’s need for a striker and seemingly unlimited transfer market resources, there have been a huge amount of forwards linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. One name that won’t go away is Radamel Falcao, despite the £48 million-rated Colombian insisting he will stay at Atletico Madrid until the summer. The acquisition of Demba Ba might cool the Falcao rumours, and at £7 million the Senegalese player was certainly a cheaper option than Falcao. They might still be in the market for another forward, with otther possiblities including Metalist’s Taison, Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo or even Barcelona’s David Villa. Also on the radar is young Brazilian Leandro Damiao, who could be available for around £20 million. In midfield, Corinthian’s Paulinho is still rumoured to interest Benitez, and Chelsea might also test Everton’s resolve with a sizeable bid for Marouane Fellaini. Fabio Coentrao might also interested the Blues, with Ashley Cole likely to leave in the summer when his contract expires.

Likely outgoings

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are both unlikely to sign a new contract at Chelsea due to the club’s policy of only offering one year deals to over 30 year old players, so both could leave to find clubs willing to offer longer agreements, though January moves are unlikely is Chelsea can’t find suitable replacements. Daniel Sturridge was the first man through the exit door at Stamford Bridge as he completed his £12 million move to Liverpool.

Budget

With Chelsea, any budget is possible if Roman Abramovich has a target in mind, and this window could see moves that rival match the 2011 spree that brought Fernando Torres and David Luiz to the club for over £70m.

Predictions

Chelsea have moved quickly in selling Sturridge and signing Ba, and they may not be finished yet. Another forward could also join, and there’s also a chance a midfielder will be signed in what will likely be a busy window.

images: © Tom Cuppens, © nicksarebi

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