Chelsea opened their Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Hull City at Stamford Bridge. The performance was full of positives, from the all-round brilliance of the midfield trio to the seemingly never-ending excellence of veterans Frank Lampard and John Terry.
Despite this, Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he would like to add another striker to his squad before the transfer window closes on September 2.
Fernando Torres has been unable to adapt his game to the stylish brand of football that Chelsea have adopted in recent years and is showing no signs of changing that any time soon. Although Romelu Lukaku has been a revelation both in preseason and for West Bromwich Albion last year, there is a fear that he is not quite ready to be the No. 1 striker throughout a long season for the Blues.
Chelsea’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney has been long and well documented, but with a self-imposed deadline of August 26 set for the player’s signature exclusively revealed in the Daily Express by Terry Banks and Paul Joyce, the Blues will need to have a decent Plan B in place.
Robert Lewandowski has been linked with a move to England throughout the summer. Borussia Dortmund flat-out refused to sell their star striker to fierce rivals Bayern Munich, despite him entering the final year of his contract. The fact that he will be allowed to leave on a Bosman in summer 2014 gave hope to Chelsea that the club would be tempted to sell him while they can.
However, news emerged in the Daily Express on August 19 that Dortmund have offered to treble Lewandowski’s salary from £20,000 a week to £60,000 for his final season at the club. This would appear to send a signal that there is no price that will prise him away from the Bundesliga club, leaving the Blues to continue their search elsewhere.
Samuel Eto’o is one of the Anzhi Makhachkala players who has been transfer-listed as their owner looks to slash his operating costs in half. The 32-year-old has spoken of his desire to reunite with Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and has kindly offered to take a pay cut.
His current salary is set at £350,000 a week, and his agent is quoted in the Metro saying “he will not leave Anzhi for less than £300,000-a-week.” That eye-watering sum on top of a token £5 million fee for the club means that the likelihood of Eto’o getting his wish to work with Mourinho again before he retires is virtually non-existent.
Although Chelsea are looking for a big-name striker, someone who has a proven track record, they could do far worse than turning to the club where Mourinho made his name. Porto striker Jackson Martinez is a 26-year-old Colombian striker who spent the early years of his career in his homeland before moving to Europe via Mexico.
Martinez scored 26 goals in 20 appearances in the Portuguese Liga last season and has attracted interest from Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. The £35 million release clause, as reported by the Metro, in his contract is in the same ballpark as Chelsea’s offers for Rooney, and if Mourinho fails to land his first-choice frontman, Martinez would be a more than adequate backup.