HITC profile the top 10 (in no particular order!) Chelsea transfer rumours to have been circulating since the closing of the summer window.
10): Demba Ba
Jose Mourinho may be publicly standing by his mis-firing striking trident but over the next few transfer windows they will no doubt be transferred out of the club in favour of more reliable hitmen, starting with Demba Ba who has been linked with West Ham United and even AS Monaco in as an incredible makeweight in a player plus cash swap deal.
9): Wayne Rooney
Chelsea twice bid for the Englishman in the summer but failed with their attempts to bring the international to Stamford Bridge. Rooney has no doubt added value to his price-tag as he averages a goal/assist once every 78 minutes and has shown a typically tireless engine.
Would Manchester United allow an elite-level player to leave in the middle of a substandard season? Would David Moyes be able to rely upon Arsenal target Javier Hernandez while Robin van Persie is seemingly plagued by injuries? Mourinho may be frustrated if he returns for Roo.
8): Kurt Zouma
Chelsea have conceded 18 goals from 16 Premier League match-days and appear more fragile away from home. Both traits are not typical of a Mourinho guided Chelsea and he may address this by supplementing the rearguard in January.
Also wanted by Manchester United, Zouma, one of the hottest young talents in French football, is capable across the back-line is strong in the air and a capable passer from the back.
7): Ross Barkley
With Rooney unlikely to depart Old Trafford, could Mourinho move for the next Everton prodigy? Dubbed a cross between Paul Gascoigne and former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, Barkley has been an ever-present in Roberto Martinez’s match-day squad this season is a competent dribbler, is calm and composed on the ball, confident striking from distance and plays with an ability that belies his years.
What may go against Chelsea, with Barkley and with Zouma, is that the players in question may not be keen to move to Chelsea because of the struggles experienced by young footballers like Kevin de Bruyne.
6): Kevin de Bruyne
He is often overlooked in Mourinho’s first-team selection, has been encouraged to leave West London by his international team-mates (and even Eden Hazard) and has been linked with Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Anderlecht and Atletico Madrid. He may well move mid-season.
5): Karim Benzema
Apparently on Arsenal’s radar in the summer, the forward has been subject to the boo-boys in the Real Madrid stands and could be playing his last days at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Considering how abundant striker transfer targets are for Mourinho, this may be one of the least likely.
4): Juan Mata
Out of all current Blues, it is midfield playmaker and two-time Chelsea player of the year Juan Mata who is most often associated with a move away from The Bridge as Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint Germain are both supposedly interested. The player has remained completely professional amid the numerous stories but could he be an intriguing addition in a player-plus-cash trade with Atletico or PSG for their star striker?
3): Diego Costa/ Edinson Cavani
If Atletico or PSG were to pursue Mata, Chelsea may only do business with them if the respective clubs allowed Mourinho to enter personal negotiations with £22m-rated Diego Costa (one goal/assist every 73 mins in La Liga) or £53m-rated Edinson Cavani (one goal/assist every 88 mins in Ligue 1).
2): Radamel Falcao
By far the most commonly associated player with Chelsea since the start of September, Falcao has been linked with a switch to Mourinho’s team due to the affiliation AS Monaco and Chelsea’s respective Russian owners have with each other, Falcao’s apparent dissatisfaction with changes in taxation in France and the fact he shares the same agent with Jose.
If Chelsea were to secure Falcao (one goal/assist every 120 mins in Ligue 1) then Roman Abramovich may have to agree to a potential £80m sum with an extraordinary salary package offered to the Colombian.
1): Jackson Martinez
Falcao is not the only Colombian star renowned for his goal-scoring prowess though, as Mourinho could raid the club who made his managerial name for Martinez, valued at £26.5m and responsible for a goal and assist once every 96 minutes in Portugal’s Primera Liga.
image: © Jimmy Baikovicius