Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Higuain, Hulk Top Shopping List
Chelsea have already started their summer spending by purchasing Marko Marin from Werder Bremen. Since this move, the rumour mill has quickened, with Gonzalo Higuain touted as the latest player who could join the Blues.
Despite progressing to the Champion's League final, Chelsea's league form has been patchy at best and they are in jeopardy of not qualifying for the competition next year.
Their squad is ageing and many high-profile players are nearing the end of their Chelsea careers—Didier Drogba may even leave this summer.
With mega-rich owner Roman Abramovich at the helm, a spending spree is inevitable. He will be looking to make a serious splash in the transfer market after a relatively quiet January. As usual, money will be no object.
But who will Chelsea target?
Here are the latest rumours from around the web.
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Chelsea will be looking to strengthen their midfield this summer. With Frank Lampard and Michael Essien ageing quickly, the Blues need some help in the centre of the park.
The latest reports from the Daily Mail have Chelsea linked with a £22 million bid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgian is a combative player who would add considerable bite to a frail Chelsea midfield. He is also well experienced in the Premier League, compiling 104 appearances for Everton since his move there in 2008.
With Everton's well documented financial troubles, a big offer from Blues owner Roman Abramovich may be too tempting for the Toffees to pass up.
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The Daily Mail is reporting that Chelsea are also interested in Fellaini's teammate, Ross Barkley.
The 18-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in Britain and is already a star for the England U21 side. Barkley possesses fantastic vision and plays with an elegance reminiscent of the man he may succeed, Frank Lampard.
Chelsea clearly view Barkley as the future of their midfield. However, they will face stiff competition from Manchester United for his signature. Like Chelsea, they too need some new blood in the middle of the pitch.
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Roman Abramovich likes buying new toys—think Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres. The Daily Mail is reporting that Gonzalo Higuain is the latest high-profile striker on Abramovich's shopping list.
With Didier Drogba set to leave when his contract expires in the summer, Chelsea are keen to add options to their strike force.
Real Madrid are allegedly lining up Manchester City star Sergio Aguero, a move which would make Higuain expendable.
Higuain is one the deadliest finishers in Europe, already bagging 25 goals this season. He is a natural goal scorer who would thrive in the Premier League.
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The powerful Brazilian is the latest player to be linked with Chelsea by the Daily Mail.
Hulk has starred for Porto, scoring 50 goals in just 94 appearances. He is best suited as an attacking winger in a 4-3-3 formation. Ironically, Hulk's best years came under Andres Villas Boas, the man recently dismissed from Chelsea.
Chelsea are believed to be leading the chase for Hulk's signature with Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham all showing interest.
Hulk has a release clause of €100 million; however, it is understood he could be purchased for less than half of that.
From Idário Café (VIPCOMM) via Goal.com
Lucas Moura is the most talented teenager in world football, so it comes as no surprise to see his name linked with Chelsea.
Metro are reporting the Lucas is nearing the end of his career in South America and is looking to make the move to Europe. In a recent interview with Globo Esporte, his agent Wagner Ribeiro said (via Metro), "Inter, Chelsea and Manchester United have already been in contact with me about him."
The 19-year-old would be a fantastic addition to Chelsea's squad. His pace, skill and trickery will allow him to make an instant impact at any club.
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The Polish striker has scored 20 league goals to help Borussia Dortmund defend their Bundesliga crown.
The Mirror is reporting that Lewandowski may be nearing the exit door at Dortmund. He is refusing to discuss a new contract until after the European Championships, prompting speculation the Bundesliga winners will look to sell their star striker.
Chelsea are one of three clubs reportedly on high alert. Lewandowski would be a solid addition to the squad; however, it is unlikely he would propel the Blues back to the top of the table.
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Trouble is brewing in Dortmund with Shinji Kagawa also rumoured to be on the way out.
The Japanese playmaker has been in superb form this season, scoring 13 goals and laying on 10 more. However, like teammate Robert Lewandowski, he is refusing to sign a long-term deal.
TalkSport reported that the club gave Kagawa until the end of April to finalise a contract extension. This deadline has now passed, and with his current deal expiring in 2013, Dortmund may look to cash in by selling him this summer.
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The 20-year-old Portugese striker apparently caught the eye of Roberto Di Matteo in the Champion's League meeting between Chelsea and Benfica.
Oliveira was lively off the bench and looked dangerous during his time on the pitch. TalkSport (via Portugese paper Record) is reporting that Chelsea have followed this interest up and have sent scouts to watch Oliveira.
The young striker is oozing with potential. However, at Chelsea, he may meet a similar fate to that of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has struggled for playing time and is rumoured to be heading out on loan next season.