Daniel Sturridge might be one of the odd men out if Cheslea go on a spending spree in the next 10 months.
Roman Abramovich is not afraid to throw money at his club.
The summer transfer window has come and gone. Despite bringing in top talent and currently sitting atop the EPL table in convincing fashion, Chelsea were unable to land a host of their top targets by the deadline.
Those three alone are valued more than £100 million, and if Chelsea and Abramovich are being serious and not just posturing, some cuts will have to be made to alleviate the monstrous salaries those types of players would demand, as well as position on the depth chart.
There will be no shortage of names linked with the Blues in the coming months. As usual, most will be far-fetched, but also as usual, there will be plenty of smoke and most likely some fire.
Let's examine a few of the would-be outcasts if one or more big-name transfers are made. A couple might seem like no-brainers, and one might just throw you for a loop.
Ashley Cole's contract expires next summer. The time to sell high might be in January.
Paris Saint-Germain head man Carlo Ancelotti didn't parse his words when he told reporters that Ashley Cole is "the best left-back in the world," according to Goal.com.
The former Chelsea manager wasn't lacking in compliments for the 31-year-old and obviously still holds him in very high regard.
PSG has been on a spending spree for the ages, and there's no signs of stopping. If Ancelotti thinks Cole is all-world and can help his team, and Cole is not willing to sign an extension with the Blues, then the writing may very well be on the wall.
There's no denying that PSG could offer him a hefty contract, and let's face it, at 31, Cole won't be at the top of his game for many more years.
From a "love of the game" perspective, he's played with some of world-class players, but not necessarily the best of the best. What PSG are building right now is what they consider the best of the best, and money is no object.
The prospect of sharing the pitch with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a regular basis could also provide the allure PSG might hope to reel in the likes of Cole.
Cole is an integral part of Chelsea's defense, but contrary to what our old friend Ancelotti might believe, he might not quite be the best in the world.
Chelsea, for their part, are not afraid to flash around their cash, and recent rumors from the Daily Mail and other outlets have linked Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, who has played exceptionally well at left-back in his career.
Ramos would provide a good replacement for Cole, and his chemistry with midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres, having shared success with Spain's national squad, could prove worth while for Chelsea.
Sturridge played well in the Olympics and has since played more matches with the national squad.
He's been injured and missed the most recent match with Norwich City, a side Chelsea happily dispatched 4-1 at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Mirror.co.uk has reported that Sturridge may have had a falling out with manager Roberto Di Mateo, and that coupled with his being unhappy to play on the wing instead of his more natural central role could've broken the proverbial camel's back.
It's hard to say the club's really missed him, as they're happily sitting atop the table in the early goings to the tune of undefeated.
Arguments for the level of competition that they may or may not have faced thus far are for another place and time, but suffice to say, Chelsea have been getting the job done without Sturridge.
If they're planning on bringing in even more attacking options come January or next summer, then there really isn't going to be room for Sturridge to fit in.
Fernando Torres is enjoying a great run of form right now, as Chelsea sit nicely atop the EPL standings.
Cue the hate mail.
It may seem like blasphemy presently, but it was less than a year ago that the same fans thinking of catchy tunes for Fernando Torres today were calling him a £50 million bust.
Yes, Torres is enjoying a brilliant run of form presently, and he's seemingly scoring at will, by EPL standards. It's a long season, and we'll see how Torres' form continues.
Let's at least explore the possibility before writing it off altogether. There are a couple of scenarios that are possible for this to play out in the next 12 months.
First, Torres loses his form or worse, gets injured, and Chelsea bring in the big guns they've been eyeing for months such as Falcao, Cavani or a host of others that have and will be linked in the weeks and months to come.
That leaves Torres the odd man out of form, out of the lineup and unfortunately out of Chelsea's future plans. Torres is world-class, at least in his mind, and will not likely want to warm the bench so Abramovich can play with his new toys.
Second, Torres plays exceptional, netting 20-plus goals and looks like the Spanish charmer we all fell in love with all those years ago. The time to sell high would be then.
It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to fathom that a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid could be interested in the services of a striker like Torres.
Barcelona could be especially keen on bringing in a front man to play with Messi, who is familiar with their Catalan style of play from excelling on the national squad.
It might be a long shot, and perhaps a bit out of left field, but consider the possibility before shooting it down. If you would have said a few years ago that Torres would leave Liverpool for Chelsea, you would have been laughed out of existence, and yet here we are.