Chelsea Transfer News: Projecting Blues' Targets After Ron Gourlay's Comments
Chelsea currently sit fourth in the English Premier League and has struggled to regain its form from last year's Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.
Although Roman Abramovich has spent excessively over the past year during the transfer window, his signings of Victor Moses, Cesar Azpilicueta, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin haven't appeased the Stamford Bridge faithful. Demba Ba's arrival has helped the Blues regain some of their recent form, but Fernando Torres continues to haunt Chelsea as it looks up at the top of the EPL standings.
Additionally, the Blues are in danger of missing next year's Champions League. They are five points clear of Arsenal at the moment, but EPL clashes against Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton remain on the schedule.
Chief executive Ron Gourlay knows that Chelsea is expected to make a major move during this summer's transfer window. Per the club's official site, Gourlay expects Chelsea to add "two or three" players as it prepares to contend for next season and beyond.
While adding players to fill the side is the primary objective, it also may include replacing those not returning to Stamford Bridge.
Longtime Chelsea star Frank Lampard has been a name floated around in transfer rumors since January, and without a new deal in place he appears likely—at the very least—to seek employment elsewhere this summer.
With that information in mind and the fanbase coming after manager Rafael Benitez full-force, here's a look at four players that will draw plenty of attention from Chelsea over the next couple of months who could put a smile on those disgruntled fans' faces.
Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid
The young striker is everything that Chelsea wants this offseason to add alongside Ba and the rest of the lineup, and he would likely be the final nail in the coffin of Torres' time with the Blues.
However, if you're thinking from a positive standpoint, Falcao's arrival could spark the former and current Atletico Madrid stars to form a nice tandem on the wings for Chelsea.
Falcao has scored 21 goals in 22 league appearances this season, and The Daily Express is reporting that the interest from Abramovich is very real—to the tune of a four-year, £10m per year salary that would earn the star striker somewhere around £200,000 per week.
There is a wide-held belief that the striker is Chelsea's No. 1 target. He's received interest from other clubs, but Chelsea will be at the top of his list and vice versa until his decision is clear—especially with that kind of money on the table.
Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (Isco), Malaga
Isco has asserted himself as a young star with play during La Liga and Champions League competition, helping Malaga to remain relevant during a one-year ban from European play.
You know things are bad when your own teammate, Martin Demichelis, claims that you will be heading for greener pastures soon, but such is the state right now at La Rosaleda (via Yahoo! Sports).
With eight goals in 24 matches this season, he hasn't jumped off the charts with regards to the competition he would face in the EPL. Still, his talent has captured the attention of European clubs and there's a good chance he moves to England by the start of the 2013-14 season.
Mario Gomez, Bayern Munich
TalkSPORT is reporting that Chelsea is interested in Germany's star striker, and for good reason. His 41 goals were a big reason Munich got all the way to the Champions League final, and Chelsea witnessed how dangerous he was after an offensive onslaught in the early rounds of that tournament.
Who should Chelsea's top target be?
Ankle surgery cost Gomez the first part of the regular season, giving way to transfer signing Mario Mandžukić in the process. Mandžukić's hot start has left Gomez on the bench with just six goals in league play, but that doesn't take away his huge number from last season.
Chelsea will keep that in mind during this process, especially since he is spending more time on the bench than on the field this season.
However, he's still valued at £36 million, meaning Chelsea is going to have to make a huge financial commitment if it decides he is the right choice to take over up front at Stamford Bridge.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Rooney has fallen out of favor at Old Trafford, highlighted by his exclusion from the starting lineup against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
As reported by The Sun, Rooney can leave town for about £25 million—half of what United could have received for the disgruntled star in a normal situation. That's how bad Ferguson and the Red Devils want to move the 27-year-old star, after criticism of his conditioning and inconsistent play have moved Rooney to the bench.
On Sunday, the Blues will get a firsthand look at Rooney in FA Cup play against United, and shouldn't be discounted in making a play for the United star.
Although there has been no real reported interest, Chelsea won't hesitate to throw its name in the hat for Rooney's services—especially at that price.
The news and rumor mill for the Blues is in full swing after Gourlay's comments to the media, and that should make for an exciting couple of months as Chelsea both tries to climb the EPL standings and make a push for new additions to the roster next season.
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