Waiting for the transfer window to close is a bit like waiting for a train.
Jose Mourinho said in September, per Sky Sports, that Chelsea will not be doing any business in the January transfer window. Matt McGeehan of The Independent has reiterated this stance, but there is still plenty of talk surrounding potential transfers.
Chelsea have had mixed success in the January transfer window over the years. The £50 million deal for Fernando Torres is the most high-profile flop, while the coup of signing Gary Cahill for £7 million goes largely unmentioned. Here are the three keys to a successful winter window at Stamford Bridge.
The January transfer window is a lot like the January sales in retail: You go out looking for bargains and come back having spent a lot of money on stuff you don’t need. Clubs are often understandably reluctant to part with their players halfway through a season, and so the top targets often come with matching price tags.
Paying inflated transfer fees has not been a problem for Chelsea, until recently.
With Financial Fair Play now in force, clubs across the continent have to ensure that their income matches their outgoings. Any fees paid for players will need to be returned by their performance on the pitch, propelling the club to a trophy or two in May.
Having looked at the issue of inflated fees commanded by clubs and players in the January window, Chelsea could actually use that aspect of the market to their advantage this year.
Kevin De Bruyne in particular has made it clear that he wants to leave Chelsea, and the Blues are in a prime position to make a substantial profit on the player that they purchased from Genk for just £7 million in 2012. Mourinho is reported to have slapped a £25 million price tag on the midfielder, as per Matt Law of The Telegraph, and if the offer from Wolfsburg is near enough to that figure, via Liam Prenderville of Mirror Football, the Blues could reinvest that money into buying a striker.
There is a general consensus across the footballing world that Chelsea need two things to mount a challenge on all fronts: an all-round central midfielder and a striker who can score. The Blues are rumoured to be looking at options to fill the midfield role, via The Telegraph and the Sunday People (h/t ITV) however, Mourinho has ruled out going for a striker.
Unless they can find a buyer for the current trio, that is a stance that makes sense.
With Samuel Eto’o on a one-year contract and a lack of clubs with the funds to take on Fernando Torres' wages, Chelsea could be forced into playing the waiting game. Romelu Lukaku will return in the summer, and the World Cup will provide a stage where some new stars could shine.