"I know that Chelsea want to buy a young talented player," former Stamford Bridge boss Avram Grant explained in the Sky Sports News studio yesterday, Tuesday.
Grant did not elaborate on the names, just that the target in question was young and talented, making the need to renew the deals of experienced trio Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole even more imperative.
"[There needs to be] balance with experienced players. Lampard, Terry and Cole can make a contribution, not for all the season, but they can make Chelsea better," he added.
Just how young a player would Grant be alluding to?
It would not be a shock for the Blues to acquire a big-name player of 21-years-old or younger, as they have been linked to a number of players with wonderkid status.
Here are the four most frequently linked with a move to West London…
Luke Shaw, 18
Shaw is one of the most in-demand, young Englishman currently but could prove costly as, even though he has a relatively low transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £11m, he would likely command as high a fee of £30m. He has been an ever-present full back in the Southampton defence this season, has enjoyed a break-out season and could feature prominently at the FIFA World Cup. He is also wanted by Manchester United.
|Club||Pos||Touch/ App||Mins/ Tackle||Mins/ Clear||Mins/ Int'cep||Drib/ App||Cross Acc||Chance||App||Min|
Hakan Calhanoglu, 20
Described as 'the next Mesut Ozil', Calhanoglu, 20, is a creative midfielder capable of playing anywhere across the attacking zone. He does not have a particularly high passing accuracy (71%), but has produced a good 66 goal-scoring chances, four of which have been assists in 27 Bundesliga outings. The Turk has also attempted 49 dribbles and has scored 11 goals.
Alberto Moreno, 21
Should Chelsea miss out on the race to sign Shaw, then they may well turn to Sevilla full back Moreno, who can also be utilised in a wing position. Moreno has been a mainstay in the Sevilla line-up this season, both in La Liga and in the Europa League. He has attempted 52 tackles and 71 interceptions, yet his crossing is not at Shaw's level he is more of a goal-threat. Moreno has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £8.8m.
Raphael Varane, 21
While all four youngsters featured in this list are supremely talented, Varane is arguably the jewel of the lot. A centre back who has been admired by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Varane has also been marked out as the potential long-term replacement of John Terry. Valued at £21m by transfermarkt.co.uk, the Frenchman has played just 996 minutes of league football this term but has a wisdom that belies his years and has completed a defensive action (block, interception, tackle and clearance) every 14 minutes he is on the field, on average.