All the latest news and gossip relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea have missed out on signing Taison from Metalist Kharkhiv, with the Brazilian signing for the Blues' Champions League conquerors Shakhtar Donetsk. This has immediately sparked speculation that Taison has been bought by the Ukrainians as a replacement for Willian, a long-term target for Chelsea. Spurs are also interested in the attacker, who would cost around £25 million.
Serie A duo Fiorentina and Lazio have played down reports Frank Lampard could sign for either of them when he leaves Chelsea at the end of the season. Both clubs have praised Lampard, but said he is not a target at present.
A Premier League insider has told HITC's Jenny Leigh that Jose Mourinho is most likely to rejoin Chelsea at the end of the season, rather than Pep Guardiola who could head to Manchester City.
Rafa Benitez' tenure at Chelsea is under fire, after two defeats in the last three, and supporters are angry and disillusioned, with some even deciding to boycott the Bridge until the Spaniard is removed from his post, report The Mail. Benitez has even been touted as a potential replacement for Mourinho at Madrid.
Benitez has excused Fernando Torres' performance in midweek against Swansea, claiming the striker had a stomach bug. He defended his decision to play him because new signing Demba Ba was also nursing a hurt hamstring, which really emphasises the need for Chelsea to bring in a third striker.
Benitez has a big decision to make up front on who will start, but that decision is subsequently going to be dictated by fitness, who is healthier Ba or Torres; but Ba is likely to get the nod after showing no signs of discomfort in his 10 minute cameo in midweek, and scored a hat-trick at the Britannia last season for Newcastle.
John Terry is back in the squad for the Stoke game tomorrow after coming through a reserve fixture in midweek unscathed. Chelsea are likely to need his physical presence at the Britannia, and will likely partner him with Gary Cahill, which could mean David Luiz will move into midfield, with Branislav Ivanovic set to get the nod at right-back despite his errors in midweek.
What would be your perfect Chelsea XI for the Stoke game?
image: © Jason Bagley