Chelsea Transfers: 7 January Rumours Fans Would Love to See Become Reality
Just when things started to look up for Rafa Benitez at Stamford Bridge, Wednesday evening brought about Chelsea's worst performance of the season and with it, fans displaying their undying disapproval of the Spaniard's being at the West London club.
Their 1-0 home defeat to QPR, who had won just once previously in 20 Premier League games, marked a need for the squad to be strengthened in January, with the Blues now 14 points behind Manchester United with a game in hand.
But after the departure of Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for £12 million, Chelsea have moved to agree a deal to sign a striker to replace 23-year-old Sturridge (find out who he is by reading on in the slides).
Other targets have been linked with a move to the European champions and as a result, Chelsea are set to add to the signings in the January transfer window. And here, we attempt to read Chelsea fans' minds to see who you would want to join or leave the Blues this winter.
Chelsea Sign Didier Drogba on Loan for Rest of the Season
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His name will live in the memory of Chelsea fans for the rest of their lives. That one night in Munich, Didier Drogba made history for the West London club. And even though he moved to China last summer, the Ivorian will always be welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.
The Guardian, amongst various other media sources, reported back in November that Drogba was seeking a return to the club, where he spent eight glorious years between 2004 and 2012, on loan from his current employers Shanghai Shenhua.
However, he was disappointed to learn that his request to move outside of the January transfer window back to Chelsea was flatly refused by FIFA, with Drogba taking part in the African Cup of Nations 2013 tournament, representing his nation Ivory Coast.
Radamel Falcao Completes £20 Million + Fernando Torres Switch
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After scoring 41 goals in 49 games for Atletico in La Liga, a hat-trick against Chelsea in the European Super Cup and named as contender for the Ballon d'Or, it's no exaggeration to say that Radamel Falcao can be regarded as the world's deadliest out-and-out striker.
The 26-year-old former Porto forward has excelled for Diego Simone's side this season, something thought to be almost impossible considering his record total of goals in the Europa League as Atletico Madrid won the trophy for the second time in three years.
It was widely reported in the English media that the Colombian hitman was on the verge of signing for Rafa Benitez's side, with the Daily Mail claiming a £200,000 a week, five-year deal had been settled to join Chelsea in a deal worth £50 million. Other sources have linked former Atletico striker Fernando Torres with a move back to the Vicente Calderon as part of the deal.
Either way, it seems Falcao is the popular choice for Chelsea fans to move to Stamford Bridge. And history tells us there's only room for one £50 million striker on Kings Road.
Florent Malouda Returns to Lyon on Free Transfer
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It's one of the most bizarre situations ever seen at a football club, but then at Chelsea, nothing surprises the fans. Florent Malouda finds himself with no future at Stamford Bridge despite playing a key part in their double-winning season in the 2009-10 season.
And the France international isn't alone in being frozen out by the Chelsea hierarchy. Nicolas Anelka and Alex both received similar treatment when they refused to sign a one-year extension with a pay cut, and subsequently secured moves to Shanghai Shenhua and Paris Saint-Germain.
Malouda's situation was slightly different, however, after refusing a cut-price move to Brazilian club Santos, with the Frenchman keen to see out the last year on his £90,000-per-week deal according to ESPN.
As a result, he's currently training with the youth team, and the fans haven't taken kindly to Malouda's intention to milk the club's resources. And nothing would please them more than seeing the 32-year-old return to his former club Lyon, the club he joined Chelsea from for £13 million five years ago.
Theo Walcott Secures £10 Million Move from Arsenal
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The Theo Walcott contract saga has become the most followed story of the transfer window so far, with reports now claiming that the Arsenal forward is close to signing a new long-term contract worth £90,000 a week.
14 goals in 20 games this season explains the reason why Walcott, whose contract expires at the end of season, would be a superb signing for any side at present, with the Independent claiming Chelsea are winning the race. Liverpool and both Manchester clubs have been credited with an interest in snapping up the 23-year-old, who could be available for as little as £10 million should he decide to move in January.
That being said, it's a wiser decision for clubs to wait until the summer before moving for the ex-Southampton winger, with Arsenal entitled to a hefty sum due to the Under-24 rule, where clubs who sign players under that age pay compensation for training and nurturing fees. And as Chelsea found with Daniel Sturridge in 2009, that could be anything up to £10 million.
An explosive player with blistering pace, there's no doubt that with Sturridge's departure to Liverpool, Chelsea fans would love to see another pacy Englishman arrive in West London.
Frank Lampard Signs New Deal at Chelsea Until 2014
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Agent Steve Kutner's claims that Frank Lampard is almost certain to leave Chelsea at the end of the season may have been misquoted, but when John Terry revealed he was 'gutted' on social networking site Instagram that Lampard would be going and the club should retire his number eight jersey, it said a thousand words.
Pundits, managers and fans all over the country have been hailing Lampard as the model professional and while many have expressed their dismay over Chelsea's treatment of their all-time record goalscorer, the senior management at the club have indicated they feel it's time the club enter a new phase of their history.
His £11 million move from West Ham in 2001 is considered as one of the finest signings in the history of the Premier League, with Lampard regularly hitting double figures with goals from an attacking midfield position. And despite him turning 35 this year, Lampard has shown no sign of holding up, with both goals in the 2-1 win at Everton and some excellent performances all round.
The chances of the cultured midfield extending his stay at the club are decreasing by the day, as the club have not offered him a fresh deal, but the fans will not give up until his departure is confirmed. Will it be goodbye to Frank Lampard in June 2013? I for one certainly hope not.
Southampton Starlet Luke Shaw Makes Move to Stamford Bridge
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It's not usual that a 17-year-old right-back causes such a stir in the Premier League. Gary Neville was probably the last one to so, so you can understand why Southampton's young star Luke Shaw is being valued somewhere in the region of £10 million by the Saints' board, who are reluctant to let him go.
Shaw was linked with a £4 million move to Chelsea back in July when Roberto Di Matteo was in charge. However, the club eventually signed Cesar Azpilicueta from Marseille, and talk of a move to London suddenly went cold for Shaw.
Now, Goal.com only last month reported that the Blues see him as a long-term replacement for Branislav Ivanovic, with the West London club building towards the future by signing top youth players such as Wallace, Eden Hazard and Lucas Piazon.
However, his performances under Nigel Adkins have once again linked him to the top clubs in the Premier League, with Arsene Wenger known to be an admirer of the promising full-back. And while Chelsea face competition should a bidding war commence, the Blues' ambition and financial backing could see them win the race to sign the starlet.
Benat Moves to Chelsea to Replace Lampard
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Okay. Let's say the inevitable happens: Frank Lampard leaves Chelsea. Who will the club look to sign to replace him? Well, let's take a glance at Spanish playmaker Benat, widely seen as the 'Spanish Andrea Pirlo.'
At 25 years old, Benat has his whole career ahead of him. His technique and the manner in which he strikes the ball enables him to hit his free-kicks with power, precision and finesse, similar to Italian star Pirlo. And his passing, well...he rivals Xabi Alonso in that area. Case closed.
According to Sky Sports, his release clause is currently set in stone at €20 million, making him a relatively expensive purchase, and his club Real Betis are adamant that until that fee is met, Benat isn't going anywhere. At least for 18 months anyway, with the former Bilbao midfielder reportedly rejecting their offer of a new five-year deal to see out his current deal.
It seems that despite interest from Real Madrid and Manchester City, Benat could have the best chance of establishing himself as a top player at Chelsea, where the midfield requires strengthening. And if he can repeat his heroics in Spain at Stamford Bridge, he could be a huge success.