Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Analysing the Blues' Most Likely January Signings

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Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Analysing the Blues' Most Likely January Signings
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Chelsea are more fortunate than most Premier League sides in that their mixture of club riches and manager motivation means that January splurging is far from impossible on paper.

However, as is the case most years, it's a seller's market in the winter period and a matter of whether or not other teams are willing to part with their stars instead of being a question of whether the Blues can necessarily afford their talents.

Recent weeks and months have seen Jose Mourinho's side linked with a long list of plausible recruits, but there are some that stand out as more likely for a variety of reasons.

Fredy Guarin

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As things stand, Fredy Guarin's protracted move to West London is the deal with the most concrete evidence surrounding it at the moment. The player recently admitted that his agent has already held talks with Mourinho.

The scenario has been dealt a blow in the shape of Guarin admitting that he's perfectly happy in his Inter surroundings, per the Mirror's Alex Richards, but a move is far from off the table. 

CNN's Tancredi Palmeri has hinted that a player-plus-cash deal could yet come to the fore:

Richards quotes the Colombian as saying:

I haven't spoken to Mourinho. My agent has done that. I hope that Inter are thinking about how much I really want to stay here.

There is something going on, I can definitely not deny that. But now I focus only on Inter and to do well here, we'll see in the future.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

It's refreshing to hear the target speak so candidly on his transfer prospects, and with Frank Lampard's ageing figure edging gradually closer to retirement, Guarin's arrival is easy to envision in terms of the Blues' needs.

Lazar Markovic

A transfer that seemed as though it could have materialised over the summer may yet come to fruition six months later, with Chelsea once again in contention to add Serbian Lazar Markovic to their ranks. 

Back in June, the Express' James Dickenson suggested that the Premier League giants had in fact signed Markovic and loaned his talents to Benfica for two years, although the Portuguese side contested the claim, retorting that the striker was in fact theirs outright.

EuroFootball/Getty Images

Heading into January, the 19-year-old has been reported by the Mirror's John Cross as a supposed £12 million arrival for the west Londoners, a very affordable fee for the club.

Given Benfica's financial woes and the fact that Chelsea are in need of attacking options, Markovic's case being brought back up at Stamford Bridge doesn't come as a big surprise, either.

Nemanja Matic

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And the other talent that Benfica could be forced into selling as a result of their money issues is Nemanja Matic, a former Chelsea player who could yet get a second bite of the Stamford Bridge cherry.

Cross has reported that the cash crisis at the Estadio da Luz could lead Benfica into selling some of their bigger stars, and Matic's past with Chelsea makes him a very realistic target.

At the moment, it seems as though Guarin or Matic will be the midfield asset arriving in Mourinho's squad this winter with a central anchor apparently ranking highly in Mourinho's priorities.

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