Chelsea fans have become used to seeing their midfielders constantly rotated by Jose Mourinho—it's a natural product of having such a strong squad—but the Portuguese boss threatens to overspill an already crammed beaker of talent if he opts to sign Fredy Guarin from Inter Milan.
As reported by Colombian station Caracol Radio and via Liam Prenderville of the Mirror, the 27-year-old's agent, Marcelo Ferreyra, has confirmed the West London club are interested in acquiring his client:
We have already been to London with Inter and met with Chelsea directors to make their interest formal.
If both clubs reach an agreement, a transfer is an option, but Fredy is happy at Inter as well if they don't agree terms.
Fredy feels important under Walter Mazzarri. The upcoming World Cup also plays a role. We will also meet with the Inter owner to see what the project looks like here.
The last part of Ferreyra's statement should have everyone involved in the deal concerned.
Guarin is not at the stage of his career where he can afford to sit on the bench, suffer inconsistent game time and jeopardise his place in Colombia's World Cup squad for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
He has played in all 16 of Inter's Serie A matches this season, scoring three goals and providing three assists, per WhoScored.com.
The versatile midfielder—who is comfortable fulfilling a central attacking role, patrolling the halfway line or setting up more defensively—is used to being a key player at the San Siro, something he shouldn't give up for sporadic performances at Stamford Bridge.
While Guarin has more than enough quality to cut it at Chelsea, his arrival would only provide Mourinho with more decisions to make. He doesn't know his best team as it stands, highlighted by Matt Law of The Telegraph:
Jose Mourinho’s rotation policy has unsettled members of the Chelsea squad as players struggle to find consistent form.
His Chelsea return has so far been characterised by a policy of chopping and changing, which has left a number of players unsure about their futures, as they are made to fret about their places on a game-by-game basis.
Guarin could easily take the place of Ramires, John Obi Mikel or Michael Essien in the centre, and he could replace Frank Lampard, Oscar or Kevin De Bruyne moving forward, but there's an exceptional amount of competition already—especially when you consider the floating roles of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Willian and Juan Mata also need to be satisfied.
Then there's Lucas Piazon, Victor Moses and Marko Marin out on loan, as well as young players such as Nathaniel Chalobah, who could progress to take on a central midfield role for the Blues. To put it simply, the transfer of Guarin plugs a gap that is already sealed over for the distant future.
The former Porto can tackle, has excellent vision and pops up with goals, but his arrival would only overlook more pressing needs for Mourinho.
He has already ruled out the possibility of snapping up a new striker, per Hannah Duncan of Metro, but this decision simply turns a blind eye to the inconsistent forms of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba.
Chelsea have the components behind the forward line to be extremely successful, but a move for Guarin will do nothing but further unsettle a squad that threatens to become frustrated in its current state.
They need a star striker, a Didier Drogba of Mourinho's second era, despite the boss' willingness to serve out the season with a misfiring trio who continue to frustrate.
Guarin is a very good player, and Chelsea are a very good team, but unless Mourinho plans to offload a significant amount of midfielders during January, the Inter warrior will exchange a leading role to become another by-the-numbers star in front of a crowd that is yet to see the best of their team this season.