The summer is coming, and that means all of Europe will be embroiled in the madness that is the transfer window. One team that has seemingly gotten off to a fast start in its summer plans is Chelsea, clearly enamored with forward Andre Schurrle.
So enamored, in fact, that it's already been reported that the team has had transfer talks with Bayer Leverkusen.
But, as Ed Malyon of the Mirror reports, it has only been talks thus far:
Bayer Leverkusen have once more confirmed talks with Chelsea over the transfer of Andre Schurrle, but denied that there has been any bid.
Leverkusen's director of communications was responding to reporters' questions on Schurrle's transfer situation, and backed-up Rudi Voller's revelation that the clubs had discussed a deal.
“I can confirm the talks in London,” revealed Meinolf Sprink.
"However, at this moment there is nothing on which to make a decision.”
Chelsea would be wise to wrap these talks up as soon as possible, ideally before the season ends. Ensuring that Schurrle was headed to London would give Chelsea a huge advantage in the summer window.
As Malyon notes, Chelsea's technical director, Michael Emenalo, likes to wrap up his signings rather quickly. It's a smart strategy—the earlier you identify and obtain your top targets, the more time you have to fill other needs and the less likely you are to get stuck in the middle of a bidding war.
And if Chelsea is serious about upgrading the striker position, there will be plenty of bidding wars that will make filling that need all the more difficult.
Radamel Falcao might not leave Atletico Madrid this summer, but plenty of teams will be inquiring about his services. Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund will be a popular target. Edinson Cavani could leave Napoli.
Chelsea will want to make a splash this summer and compete for the Premier League title, but adding Schurrle would allow the team to potentially avoid the rat race for the top forwards and instead turn to filling other needs.
Schurrle has been very good for Bayer Leverkusen this season, scoring 14 goals and adding eight assists in 39 appearances for the club. He has the versatility to play either striker or winger for Chelsea and could pair with either Fernando Torres or Demba Ba as a second striker.
Well, if Torres sticks around, that is.
I have my doubts that Schurrle will be the elite striking option the team really needs, however, which could leave him without a role in the starting 11 since Chelsea is loaded at winger, with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses all available, among other options.
Still, the 22-year-old is an exciting forward prospect and he continues to grow and evolve his game. His versatility would be a plus for Chelsea, and landing a top target so early in the process would put the Blues in an excellent position this summer.
The sooner this gets done, the better for Chelsea. And given that the talks are being publicly acknowledged, it's hard to imagine this deal won't go down.