15 Rumored January Transfer Targets for Chelsea
Love it or hate it, the transfer window always presents its share of drama and intrigue. And as we enter November, the winter transfer window is drawing ever closer.
January may be two whole months away, but clubs are beginning to get their affairs in order, making their lists and checking them twice as they ponder what stars—if any—they need to add to their squads as they push for glory in the latter part of the season.
Chelsea were linked with their fair share of players throughout the summer months and things are no different now. In fact, if the Blues acted upon all of the rumors in October alone, they would probably be able to field a totally different team from the one that overcome Arsenal 2-0 in the Capital One Cup this week.
If we thought things were bad already, just wait until January when things heat up and the rumor mill spins faster than ever.
Bleacher Report takes a look at 15 players that could be calling Stamford Bridge home come January.
Stats via ESPNFC.com.
1. Wayne Rooney
Chelsea pursued him for much of the summer, but eventually had to concede defeat.
Now the January transfer window seems to be just around the corner, rumors are resurfacing that Wayne Rooney will be the subject of Jose Mourinho's affections once more.
Watch this space as there will be plenty twists and turns in this saga before the end of January.
2. Mario Balotelli
It seems a striker remains top of Jose Mourinho's wish list, despite the excellent form of Fernando Torres this season.
Mario Balotelli is the latest name to be linked with the Blues, according to the Daily Mail.
The player's agent suggests a move could happen, although AC Milan are adamant he is going nowhere.
There's always drama where Balotelli is concerned. How much drama this story will produce remains to be seen, although the prospect of a Mourinho-Balotelli double act creates its own prospect of fireworks given the strained relationship the pair endured at Inter Milan.
3. Sami Khedira
He worked for three seasons under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and now it seems Sami Khedira could be teaming up again with the Portuguese at Chelsea.
Chelsea will have a fight on their hands for the German, however, with the Daily Star suggesting Manchester United and Arsenal are also interested in the midfielder.
4. Diego Costa
It has not been long since he declared he will play for Spain instead of his native Brazil at next summer's World Cup, but while Diego Costa's international future has been sorted, there are now questions where his club career will take him.
The striker has been in excellent form for Atletico Madrid this season, leading to him being linked with a number of clubs on the continent.
If we believe reports in The Mirror, Chelsea are one of those, with Jose Mourinho an admirer of his talents.
He's known for playing on the limits of the game, an approach that perhaps mirrors the personality of Mourinho, so his proposed arrival in January could make for some added excitement at Stamford Bridge for the media at least.
5. Xabi Alonso
Another of Jose Mourinho's former Real Madrid charges is being linked with a reunion with the Portuguese.
This time it's defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso, who himself is having a difficult time of it this season, struggling with injury.
The Daily Mail suggests Mourinho will make a move in January, with Alonso's contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Carlo Ancelotti seems intent on keeping him in the Spanish capital, though, being quoted in the Mail's story as saying: "Xabi Alonso is very important for Real Madrid."
6. Kurt Zouma
He may not come with the same profile as some of Chelsea's other reported January transfer targets, but St. Etienne's Kurt Zouma appears to be on the list of players the Blues are tracking.
His club suggest it is not under any financial pressure to sell him, though, so the defender may remain in Ligue 1 until the summer at least.
7. Giannelli Imbula
They have a team crammed full of midfielders, but according to Metro, Chelsea are chasing Marseille's Giannelli Imbula with a view to a January move.
According to the report, Marseille value the Frenchman at £25 million, a price that Chelsea are reportedly willing to meet.
8. Eliaquim Mangala
It seems Jose Mourinho has his eye on plenty of French talent this January, with the proposed move for Giannelli Imbula part of a double swoop on up-and-coming Frenchmen.
This time it's Eliaquim Mangala being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
The Metro suggests the defender is valued at £40 million by his club Porto, although Mourinho is apparently confident he can reduce the fee to £25 million.
9. Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba slipped through the fingers of Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United when he departed Old Trafford for Juventus in search of first-team football and a status he felt he wasn't receiving in the North West.
Since he made the move to Serie A in 2012, the Frenchman has flourished and now Chelsea are hoping to bring him back to the Premier League, according to the Express.
Arsenal are also interested and reports suggest Pogba will cost around £40 million.
10. Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler struggled to impress against a dominant Chelsea midfield when the Blues recently met Schalke in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho's men came away 3-0 winners that night, but the Portuguese knows the 20-year-old German has plenty in his locker, despite that uncharacteristic display.
With injuries throughout the squad this term, the midfielder has carried Schalke at times and is the club's leading goalscorer in Europe.
11. Burak Yilmaz
Instead, Jose Mourinho is reportedly chasing Burak Yilmaz and, after being rebuked in the summer, is not willing to take no for an answer in the new year.
The 28-year-old Turk will cost around £25 million, according the same Metro report.
12. Wesley Sneijder
Sticking with Galatasaray, Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder is another player from the Turkish giants to be linked with Chelsea.
His international coach Louis van Gaal was quoted by talkSPORT (via The Express) in October, suggesting a move to Stamford Bridge could be in the cards.
"I know Chelsea and Jose Mourinho want Sneijder," said van Gaal. "In my opinion, if possible Sneijder should leave Galatasaray and join Chelsea."
13. Javier Pastore
Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine midfielder is enduring a tough time of it in the French capital, struggling for form and a place in Laurent Blanc's starting line-up.
Pastore could have a ticket out of Parc des Princes, however, with Chelsea and Arsenal both reportedly interested in him.
The Express suggests he is willing to wait until Christmas to see what his position is at PSG, but if things haven't improved he may be willing to buy a ticket on the Eurostar and wind up in London.
14. Saido Berahino
Hands up: Who had heard of Saido Berahino before this season? Not many of you, that's for sure.
The England Under-21 international has arrived with a bang in 2013-14, however, scoring in West Bromwich Albion's 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford and causing plenty of problems for any team he has faced.
His performances have got the attention of Chelsea, who are apparently in a long line of other clubs—including Arsenal and Everton—who are interested in taking him from the Hawthorns.
The Daily Star reports he is earning just £850 per week at present, so whoever snaps him up, he could prove a fine bit of business.
15. Jackson Martinez
Rounding off Bleacher Report's Chelsea rumors, we return to Jose Mourinho's former club, Porto.
According to the Mirror, Mourinho is in the hunt for striker Jackson Martinez and will be making his move in January.
The Colombian will cost Chelsea a rumored £20 million, but given his scoring record in Portugal, that could prove very good business indeed.
This season alone he has scored eight goals in nine appearances, while in 2012-13 he bagged 29 in 28 games.