Chelsea could shock the footballing world by landing Barcelona star Villa
In recent weeks, unsettled supporters have given extra life to countless Chelsea transfer rumors. Many of them are calling for a significant change at the club.
With the Blues’ dismal form as of late, it’s a course of action manager Roberto Di Matteo should very well take into consideration.
Since beginning the year on an impeccable 11-game unbeaten streak, Chelsea have stumbled to a 1-2-2 mark in their last five games. They’ve dropped from top of the table to third, behind Manchester United and Manchester City. In fact, the club is only a last-second Victor Moses header away from being winless since Oct. 20.
Whatever the problem may be, this isn’t the Blues’ side we saw tearing their way through the league schedule just over a month ago.
Change may not be the worst possible solution right now.
Here are four players being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in January.
Falcao would provide the Blues with a dangerous striker up front
The name Chelsea fans have been clamoring to see in blue the most is Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao.
The 26-year-old has netted 13 goals in 11 appearances for the La Liga side this season. It’s a feat that has garnered him interest from almost every top-flight European club in the footballing world.
However, only Chelsea have been rumored to be close to sealing Falcao’s signature.
For months now, the Blues have been flip-flopping on whether or not to pursue the Colombian international. On Tuesday, rumors broke that the two sides had already agreed on personal terms. However, two days later, Falcao himself played down a transfer and emphasized his commitment to helping Atletico realize their Champions League dreams.
It’s a saga that is sure to have even more twists and turns as January approaches.
With Fernando Torres in the midst of another sluggish spell, Falcao would be a valuable asset to Chelsea right now.
The only question is if he’s worth €60 million or not.
Owner Roman Abramovich hasn’t shied away from splurging big during the transfer window in the past—see Torres and Eden Hazard. So it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see a move between the clubs go through.
Falcao has labeled playing in the Premier League as a “dream." Paired with the Colombian’s absence from Atletico’s Europa League squad, all signs are hinting towards a likely move to England for the star striker.
As of now, we can only wait and see how it all plays out.
Fellaini could very well be playing alongside the Blues come January
Sitting at fourth in the table, Everton have made some noise early on in the Premier League.
A large amount of the credit deserves to go to midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The 24-year-old has already netted six goals for the Toffees in 10 appearances this season. He has single-handedly put the team on his back at times, even willing the team to victory on several occasions.
His recent breakout play has many clubs around the league planning a January swoop for the Belgian international.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea lead the way with a £30 million bid looming.
If Everton manager David Moyes had his way, the club wouldn’t even consider parting ways with their top goal scorer. However, with the club’s dire financial situation and Fellaini’s desire to play Champions League football, Moyes might have no choice.
If that were the case, the Scotsman was adamant that the asking price would be relatively high.
At the age of 24, Fellaini provides tremendous upside. He would be a player that would provide a club with several years of top play.
According to whoscored.com, the Belgian ranked No. 14 in the league in tackles per game, averaging 2.9 last season. He would be a great asset to Blues’ defensive midfield, which already has John Obi Mikel performing at a high level.
The move makes sense; however, a lot has to do with the other moves Chelsea plan on making during the window.
Bony has caught Chelsea's eye
Another youngster Chelsea have been watching closely is Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony.
Only 23 years old, Bony has dazzled scouts, netting 12 goals in 11 league appearances.
According to the player's agents, Chelsea are one of several clubs in pursuit of the young Ivorian’s services.
Upon hearing of the news, Bony lit up to ESPN:
I can’t tell you much about that, but if it’s written that I’m going there, that’s a good thing, right? If they want me, it would be an honor. I would like to join a club like that. I like English football and I’m not afraid to go there. Chelsea are a top club.
While it’s great that he’s enthusiastic about a possible move to Stamford Bridge, one has to wonder if he’s ready for the physicality of the Premier League.
If a move were to occur, it’s most likely that Bony would serve a season or two out on loan.
Frustration at Barcelona may have Villa ready to exit Spain
It wouldn’t be a normal transfer window without that one ridiculous rumored target.
This time around, it’s Barcelona’s David Villa.
After an on-field altercation with teammate Lionel Messi—not once, but twice—there has been talk of an impending exit for the Spanish striker. In fact, Barca have been linked with moves for Atletico Madrid striker Falcao and Santos Neymar.
It could just be simple speculation, or it could be hinting at something bigger.
Careful observation can provide examples of sourness and frustration on the part of Villa. Not often does the 30-year-old take part in team celebrations, and his rift between Messi seems to only be growing. If Barcelona were to choose between the two stars, it’d be a no-brainer who they’d side with.
But who can blame Villa? The Spanish international has started eight of his 13 appearances with Barca on the bench—including all four Champions League fixtures.
Sure, it makes sense for Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova to want to be cautious with the striker who missed significant time with a broken leg. But does this move hide an ulterior motive?
Whatever the cause, the rumblings of a possible move have been heard all over Europe. And like a tiger avidly watches its prey before pouncing, Chelsea have been keeping a stern eye on Villa.
The Blues have been linked with Villa in the past and find themselves linked together once again.
A move for the striker could benefit fellow Spaniard, and lone Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres. However, at the age of 30, owner Roman Abramovic’s policy for only allotting players over that specific age a one-year contract could put a damper on any negotiations.
Some may dream of this transfer to push through, but those fans will only find themselves disappointed. It’s not happening.
You can follow Sebastian on Twitter at @SP7988