Grading the Likelihood of Chelsea's Reported Summer Transfer Targets
Chelsea do not even have a manager in place for next season, but that hasn’t stopped the Blues from being linked with a number of high-profile stars ahead of 2013-14.
The smart money is very much on Jose Mourinho returning as Chelsea boss, and with a transfer war chest to rival most clubs, the Portuguese—or whoever takes over in West London for that matter—has the means with which to purchase any number of players.
The list of names being linked with Chelsea reads very much as an endless who’s who in football, but how many of these reported transfers will actually happen? Bleacher Report grades the likelihood of the top five.
Falcao (from Atletico Madrid)
The Blues have long admired Atletico Madrid’s Colombian striker from afar, but it was his demolition of the Chelsea defence in last summer’s Super Cup that convinced Roman Abramovioch he was the man to lead the line at Stamford Bridge.
Since his hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat to Atletico in Monaco, Falcao has been heavily linked with a move to England.
Until now, his club has been able to resist the temptation of cashing in on his talents, but will this summer finally prove a bridge too far?
Will It Happen?
There have long been conflicting reports over this transfer, with Falcao himself even muddying the waters with comments about a potential move away from the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
It’s rumbled on that way for the better part of nine months and here we are in May, still none the wiser as to whether the deal will go through or not.
Expected price: £45-50 million
Chelsea have a wealth of attacking talent within their ranks, so it surprised many when they returned to Bayer Leverkusen in April to reignite their interest in Andre Schurrle.
The Blues’ admiration for the young German was well documented last summer, but having snapped up Oscar and Eden Hazard, it seemed the opportunity for a transfer had passed him by.
Not anymore it seems, with Chelsea stepping up their efforts for his services of late.
Where he will play is anyone’s guess—through the middle, out wide or up front. The Blues clearly have a plan, though, so it will be interesting to see how it comes off should Schurrle arrive in West London.
Will It Happen?
According to reports, this is one deal that’s all but done. BBC Sport is reporting the 22-year-old has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Blues, quoting Bayer Leverkusen’s general manager Wolfgang Holzhauser to that effect.
“Andre Schurrle has probably signed a pre-contract deal with Chelsea,” he is reported to have said. “We have received a concrete offer for a fee, which we are considering.”
Expected price: £20 million
Borussia Dortmund’s Polish marksman had long been pursued by clubs across Europe. Then came his single-handed demolition of Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal, and now he’s in bigger demand than ever.
As a result, we can expect a bidding war involving clubs such as Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea this summer, but with just a year remaining on his contract, Lewandowski has the power to engineer a move where he sees fit, which could mean Dortmund losing another of their talents to fierce rivals Bayern.
Will It Happen?
It seems Chelsea have jumped on the bandwagon where Lewandowski is concerned, with their interest coming on the back of Borussia Dortmund reaching the Champions League final.
Until then, this was a transfer heavily driven by Manchester United and Bayern Munich, so it raises questions as to how serious the Blues are about acquiring Lewandowski.
The Daily Star reports Dortmund want the Pole to join Chelsea, while initial reports surfaced last week in the Daily Mail when it was claimed Jose Mourinho wants to lure him to Stamford Bridge, should he return.
Expected price: £25 million
Chelsea have made a habit in turning to former Liverpool legends in recent years to help move them forward. It started with Fernando Torres in 2011, when they snapped up the striker for £50 million, while this season has seen Rafa Benitez become interim manager at Stamford Bridge.
Now it seems Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso could be on his way to West London, with the former Reds midfielder linked with a move on the back of Jose Mourinho’s potential return.
As a decision based on purely football reasons, it makes perfect sense. Chelsea are in desperate need of a midfielder in the mould of Alonso, with current incumbent John Mikel Obi not quite living up to his billing.
It could cause problems in the dressing room should Frank Lampard remain, though, after the pair often clashed during Alonso’s time at Liverpool.
Will It Happen?
As The Independent reports, Mourinho has fallen out of favor with much of the Real dressing room this term, with Alonso remaining one of his few allies. The Portuguese has built his career around trusting those closest to him, and with Alonso’s contract ending in 2014, the 31-year-old could be tempted by following his manager for one last big move in his career.
Expected price: £8 million
There is a swell of Belgian talent in the Premier League right now and it was the arrival of Marouane Fellaini at Everton in 2008 that helped kick-start it.
The imposing midfielder arrived in England at the age of just 20, but in the five years he has been at Goodison Park, he has delivered on the potential that persuaded David Moyes to splash out £15 million for his services.
He has been a key component to the club’s success since that time and with the departure of Tim Cahill to MLS outfit New York Red Bulls at the beginning of this season, he has added more goals to his game to make him one of the league’s most feared midfielders.
Will It Happen?
Similar to the idea of Xabi Alonso arriving at Stamford Bridge, the capture of Fellaini makes perfect sense. Chelsea have invested heavily in flair players the past couple of summers and now they must add some steel to their midfield. Fellaini offers both, but will the Blues be willing to fork out the reported £23 million release clause in his contract (via Daily Mail)?
Expected price: £23 million