According to an agent, Chelsea could be transferring a player away from Stamford Bridge in January.
The winter window market may not open for trading for another two months but that has not stopped discussions occurring between clubs, between representatives, over the possible availability of certain players. According to one agent - Francois Gallardo - Chelsea are one club who may be looking at offloading a player on their roster, with three teams in Spain the likely destination.
He told Punto Pelota: 'A player could come to Spain from the English league. It is an order that has been requested of us. The team that owns that player is Chelsea. There are three teams in Spain which have made a query so far.'
Gallardo's track record of success when it comes to transfer speculation and Chelsea is dubious at best as this is the same source of information as such stories as John Terry signing for Valencia and Didier Drogba completing his move to Barcelona.
However, there are four players on the Blues roster who Gallardo may be thinking of…
1): Juan Mata
With rumours of a switch to Valencia, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona all printed by Her Majesty's press since the closing of the summer window, Mata may be regarded to be one of the likeliest to continue to see his name mentioned in exit talk.
After nine available Premier League matches, Mata has participated in five - or 307 minutes - yet has an exemplary 92% passing accuracy, with 13 chances created (one of which turned into an assist). The two-time Chelsea player of the year has not lost any of his ability, just the game-time to show the full extent of it off with.
Mata has played with increased frequency in October, though, has never wavered from his support of Jose Mourinho and appears determined to become the first choice playmaker in West London.
2): Thibaut Courtois
Barcelona need a goalkeeper soon, what with Victor Valdes leaving Camp Nou next summer, and the Catalans have been linked with both Courtois and even Petr Cech. The 21-year-old shot-stopper is currently impressing on loan at Atletico, however, the speculation of a high-profile Barca transfer is ebbing as the club now seem focused on bringing Borussia Monchengladbach ace Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to Spain.
3): Cesar Azpilicueta
Athletico Bilbao and Barcelona have both been linked for Spanish right back Azpilicueta, a 24-year-old who competes with Branislav Ivanovic for Mourinho's attention.
Ramires has emerged as a target for Real Madrid and the midfielder is flattered at the situation. He recently said, as quoted by Globo Esporte: 'It's good for the ego, a sign that your work is admired but neither Chelsea nor my agent have told me anything. It would be a lack of respect to say anything if the club didn't talk with me.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald