5 Strikers Who Could Replace Fernando Torres at Chelsea
Whilst Torres has stated that he will be staying at Chelsea until at least 2016, there are many who question the sense behind that statement. Betting companies are mocking him and postgame analyses have centred around his dramatic decline.
His form has improved of late, but it is a sign of how broken his confidence is that he is using a protective face mask as a talisman of sorts.
With that and the potential return of Jose Mourinho in mind, it seems far from certain that he will be at Stamford Bridge for the start of the 2013-14 season. The weight of his name still makes him a useful bargaining chip for a potential cash-plus-player deal to end his suffering early.
Here are five players who could replace Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst there has been no formal approach by Chelsea towards Borussia Dortmund's Champions League hero, Jose Mourinho was an up-close admirer of the Pole's abilities. One act in the media circus surrounding Mourinho's apparently imminent return to Stamford Bridge is his desire to work with Lewandowski in West London, according to the Daily Mail.
His four goals against Real Madrid speak for themselves as a testament to his footballing talent, and his overall tally of 33 goals in 38 appearances would be an improvement on Torres' output.
It depends where you get your news, but Mourinho's return also appears to hinge on the acquisition of Hulk, Zenit St. Petersburg's £39.5 million man. Roman Abramovich has been a fan of the barrel-chested Brazilian for a few years, and after failing to sign Hulk in the summer, he would not mind paying out for him this time around.
Hulk would be best deployed in a 4-2-1-3 formation as part of an attacking trio with Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, With Oscar playing a supporting role just behind them, they would be a force to be reckoned with.
Falcao has continued his impressive form from the 2011-12 season into 2012-13, scoring 27 goals in 33 appearances.
This will only add to his enormous price tag, but if Torres agreed to a return to the club that made him captain when he was 19 years old, then Abramovich will certainly have a look down the back of the sofa to find the fee.
Cavani has stated his desire to leave Napoli, with the Premier League his preferred destination. He has scored 30 goals in 33 appearances this season, although his buyout clause of £54.5 million should scream, "Stop! Have a little think about this."
If Roman Abramovich learns from any of his mistakes, that sort of price tag should prove prohibitive. But with Fernando Torres following in the footsteps of Andriy Shevchenko, even Financial Fair Play will fail to stop the oligarch.
Cavani's instincts would see him link up well with Mazacar, but the deal would only be worthwhile if the price was negotiable.
Romelu Lukaku has made a huge impact during his season out on loan at West Bromwich Albion. He has scored 14 goals in 31 appearances for the Baggies and now appears ready for first-team football at Stamford Bridge.
The best thing about him? He won't cost a penny.