Will Falcao end Chelsea's January transfer hoodoo?
The Colombian ace has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and with the Blues faltering at home and abroad, it looks like Roman Abramovich will again attempt to bankroll the problems away.
If Falcao does arrive in south-west London, he’ll almost certainly be one of a few new faces with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Paulinho and Theo Walcott also rumoured to be on the radar.
Although the former Porto hitman guarantees the goals that Chelsea crave, not all of their deals during January have gone as expected.
Here are seven buys Chelsea may have gone against in hindsight.
Bosnich played a handful of games before being sacked
Long before Roman Abramovich began frittering away millions of pounds, Chelsea were busy frittering away millions of pounds.
In January 2001, they chose to snap up Mark Bosnich on a free transfer after the Australian keeper was deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United, but his 21-month Stamford Bridge career cost the club almost £4m in wages for just five league appearances.
It took Bosnich nearly a year to make his debut but soon after getting a run in the team he was sacked by the club after failing a drugs test in September 2002.
Number 13 Pierre Issa was unlucky for some
Some of you may remember Pierre Issa as South Africa’s one man defensive jinx from the 1998 World Cup. Others may remember him as a barely used squad player at Olympique Marseille and some may even recall an anonymous six-month spell at Chelsea.
For reasons best explained by Claudio Ranieri, Issa was plucked from L’OM to bolster the Blues backline but failed to make a single first-team appearance and spent most of his time slumming in in the reserves with Winston Bogarde.
At least Jose Mourinho rated Jiri Jarosik
Jiri Jarosik apparently caught Jose Mourinho’s eye whilst playing against Chelsea for CSKA Moscow in the 2004/05 Champions League group stages.
Quite what the ‘Special One’ saw in him remained a mystery across a six-month stint in London in which Jarosik clocked up 14 league appearances as Chelsea ended a fifty year title drought despite—not because—of their lanky Czech midfielder.
Jarosik also accrued a League Cup medal during his brief stay but in keeping with a listless few months, was hauled off at half-time in the final against Liverpool with the Blues trailing 1-0.
Maniche proved anything but dynamic after signing from Dynamo
With Michael Essien away at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, Jose Mourinho opted to bring in a former foot soldier as cover.
Portuguese midfielder Maniche was one of Mourinho’s key men during his triumphs at Porto but a lucrative move to Dynamo Moscow went wrong and the pair were soon reunited.
Maniche made eight appearances for the Blues en-route to a second successive Premier League title, but his stay will mainly be remembered for costing his side a goal and getting sent-off on his home debut against West Ham.
Ricardo Quaresma arrived too late and did too little
After Chelsea made a hash of trying to sign Robinho, they began the 2008/09 season a man light in attack. By the time January came around, the Blues were off the pace in the Premier League with boss Luiz Felipe Scolari’s position under threat.
The Brazilian opted to make a loan move for Inter Milan winger Ricardo Quaresma but just days after the Portuguese flyer made his debut in a goalless home draw to Hull City, Scolari was sacked and his new recruit went onto make just another four substitute appearances under Guus Hiddink.
Franco Di Santo never progressed after a blistering start
At the beginning of 2008, Chelsea swooped for what they thought was the next big thing in Argentinian football—Franco Di Santo.
The striker made a promising start to his Blues career by banging in 12 goals in eight reserve team games—including a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur—but Di Santo made little impact in 18 goalless appearances under Luiz Felipe Scolari and was packed off to Blackburn for the 2009/10 season.
That spell in the north-west of England yielded only one goal and convinced the Chelsea hierarchy that they had not actually found the next big thing in Argentinian football.
Fernando Torres has never lived up to his £50m billing
It’s fair to say that 24 goals in 94 games with an FA Cup and Champions League winners medal does not tell the whole story about Fernando Torres’s British record £50m switch from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011.
The Spaniard has never come close to reaching the heights he scaled on Merseyside and patience from the Chelsea faithful has all but expired with the man formerly known as ‘El Nino’.
Four managers across three stuttering seasons have all failed to spark Torres into life and if Falcao does arrive, his days will surely be numbered.