With the clock ticking down ominously toward Friday's transfer window deadline, Chelsea have but 48 hours left to conclude further business this January.
The West London outfit have already been a busy bunch this month, bringing in the talents of Nemanja Matic, Bertrand Traore and Mohamed Salah, as well as seeing the faces of Juan Mata, Michael Essien, Sam Walker and Kevin De Bruyne all depart for pastures new.
That being said, the Blues aren't ones to settle for anything less than exemplary, and one can never know what the richly bankrolled side have up their sleeve when the chance to do business is about.
Read on for a breakdown of all the club's latest transfer hopes heading into the closing hours of the winter transfer period.
Pep Guardiola Open to Toni Kroos' Bayern Exit?
Toni Kroos has been a name linked most intimately with a Manchester United move this month, but Here Is The City's Stephen Peckering recently disclosed that Chelsea had gotten in on the race to sign Bayern Munich's central star.
The plot has thickened further, it seems, after Pep Guardiola was quoted by the Express' Ben Jefferson as being apparently open to the thought of his engine-room anchor leaving:
"He is an important player but things can move fast in football. Here today, gone tomorrow."
It's a surprisingly laid-back approach from Der FCB's coach, considering Kroos' current deal comes to its end next summer and, per Jefferson's report, no sign of talks regarding an extension.
As 101GreatGoals show, the 24-year-old didn't respond well to being substituted off against Stuttgart this week:
Bayern have a wealth of central talent in the forms of Thiago Alcantara, Mario Goetze, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, with full-backs Philipp Lahm and David Alaba also able to fill the role.
St. Etienne Sticking Firm On Kurt Zouma Transfer
Jose Mourinho's pursuit of Kurt Zouma appears to have reached a standstill, with St. Etienne co-president Roland Romeyer posing a staunch stance over the prospect of his player being sold.
According to The Mirror's Alan Nixon, the Ligue 1 side's starlet will only be sold if a club is to meet their valuation of the youngster, Romeyer alleged as noting:
There have been discussions for Zouma with English, Italian and French clubs, but he will not be leaving this month unless we find an agreement with some of the potential buyers. If not, he will have to wait until the summer. We are under no obligation to sell.
Chelsea are under no critical need of reinforcements at centre-back, with John Terry and Gary Cahill in good shape so far this season, and David Luiz providing backup along with Branislav Ivanovic and Nathan Ake.
The Guardian's Dominic Fifield sees a summer switch as being the more likely:
Nixon's report mentions that St. Etienne are looking for a fee of more than £18 million for their defensive prodigy, and although far from out of Chelsea's grasp, it's a big ask unless the club are able to shift on one of their current players first.
Thibaut Courtois Will Remain a Blue Next Season
A lot of discussion has been ignited around the long-term future of Thibaut Courtois as a Stamford Bridge star, considering he's yet to make his debut for the club, despite thriving at Atletico Madrid for the past two-and-a-half seasons.
With Petr Cech still holding his own as Mourinho's No. 1 choice in goal, the situation is a tough one for Mourinho to work out, but Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail has the helmsman as being calm over the conundrum:
"Will he stay with Atletico? No. No."
Of course, that comment doesn't rule out the thought of Courtois being farmed out elsewhere other than the Vicente Calderon, but it would appear to suggest that Mourinho still holds promise for the 21-year-old, despite not having had the chance to field him just yet.
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