Scouting 6 Potential Chelsea Transfer Targets
Despite a lack of certainty about who will be the next permanent manager at Chelsea, the Blues continue to be linked with some of world football's biggest names, as well as some less well-known stars.
Players over the age of 25 are unlikely to be considered, as Roman Abramovich looks to build for the future, but there are plenty of talented youngsters who could become available at the right price.
Here are scouting reports for six of the most interesting Chelsea transfer targets.
All statistics taken from whoscored.com
Current Team: Atletico Madrid
Shirt Number: 9
Age: 27 years old
Falcao has continued the impressive form that saw him become the darling of Europe's top clubs. He has 27 goals from 33 appearances for Atletico Madrid this season and his first-half hat-trick was key to the demolition of Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.
With a price tag of £46 million he would represent another big-money gamble. With similar options available for significantly smaller sums, and other clubs also interested in the striker, he does not represent Chelsea's best option.
Current Team: Ajax
Age: 18 years old
Viktor Fischer is the Danish left-winger that all of Europe's top clubs are watching.
He signed for Ajax last summer and has scored 10 goals in 21 appearances for the Dutch champions. His international record is the most impressive, having scored 20 goals for Denmark's under-17 side in 30 appearances between 2009-11.
Ajax are unlikely to sell their young starlet so soon, but he will certainly be one to watch in the future.
Current Team: Bayer Leverkusen
Position: Attacking Midfielder (Centre, Left, Right), Forward
Age: 22 years old
Andre Schurrle has been the subject of much speculation linking him with Chelsea, and he now looks set to turn the Three Amigos into the Four Musketeers.
His versatility and 13 goals with seven assists in 37 appearances would come at the expense of one of the current trio, whilst there have also been rumours that Kevin De Bruyne is going in the other direction (Daily Mail).
Current Team: Vitesse
Shirt Number: 9
Age: 24 years old
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Wilfried Bony has scored 31 goals in 29 appearances for Vitesse this season, helping the Eredivisie side into the 2013-14 Europa League.
His contract expires in 2015, a factor that could influence Vitesse towards selling their star striker to a Premier League club. Whether that will be Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham or Arsenal remains to be seen, but whoever he signs for will gain one of the most prolific strikers in Europe for a relatively small fee.
Current Team: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 24 years old
Robert Lewandowski will compete in the Champions League final on May 25, having scored 33 goals in 38 appearances for Borussia Dortmund so far this season. His four goals against Real Madrid in the semifinal prompted Jose Mourinho to send him a text message, inviting the Polish star to join him at Stamford Bridge next season (Daily Mail).
Lewandowski would act as a target-man-cum-poacher, looking to finish off moves by the Three Amigos.
He would be a great addition to the Blues, but with Bayern Munich and Manchester United also interested in securing his signature, it is unlikely that he will be plying his trade in London next season (Mirror).
Current Team: Schalke 04
Positions: Defender, Defensive Midfielder
Age: 21 years old
If the Chelsea fans struggled with CesarAzpilicueta, Papadopoulos would also need an anglicised nickname. Having made his professional debut at centre-half for Greek side Olympiakos when he was just 15 years old, the Greek international has developed into one of Europe's top defensive prospects for the future.
Papadopoulos has only played 12 games for Schalke 04 this season but has averaged 5.9 clearances and 3.7 tackles in those matches. However, he has a tendency towards ill-discipline and would need to curb that if he were to become a regular starter at Stamford Bridge.