Chelsea’s abundance of wingers means they will likely drop out of the race for 21-year-old Senegal winger Sadio Mane.
With loaned-out wingers Victor Moses and Cristian Atsu both hoping to feature for the Blues next season, it seems Chelsea’s interest in yet another winger is misguided.
Given that Jose Mourinho doesn’t favour a wide game with traditional wingers, opting rather to employ versatile attacking midfielders and probing full-backs, five recognised wing men would be something of a stretch.
Having already signed Brazilian left-winger Willian from under Spurs’ noses for £32 million a year ago, before securing long-term Liverpool target Mohamed Salah in January, Chelsea are more than covered in the wider positions.
Chelsea’s interest will come as a particular concern to Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood. Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror reports that Sherwood hopes to make Mane his first big-money signing, should he be given the financial resources to do so.
Nixon also touches on the Blues' interest in Mane, although it feels like a waste of time and effort.
For Mourinho, however, money is no object. However, squad space almost certainly will be.
The Portuguese manager, whose team currently lead the way in the Barclays Premier League, currently has 28 players on loan, meaning that he will need to move some names in order to find a place for the Red Bull Salzburg winger.
Salzburg are willing to sell at the right price—Nixon suggests a price tag of £10 million—and are hopeful of igniting a bidding war between Spurs and Chelsea, with Manchester City and Newcastle also rumoured to be tracking the young African.
Given the other options available to Mourinho on the wings and the player’s seeming reluctance to wait in line at Stamford Bridge, it would be prudent for Mourinho to look to the underperforming areas of his squad that are crying out for his attention—such as the forward line.
Such is the problem up front, Mourinho was recently captured by French television channel Canal Plus bemoaning his lack of options in front of goal.
Despite boasting £50 million forward Fernando Torres as well as Demba Ba, it has been 33-year-old Samuel Eto’o leading the offence, having been initially considered a stopgap.
This omission of a world-class striker—at least one in his prime—is made all the more glaring by the form of Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge, who has grown into England’s finest goalscorer in little over a year since he swapped Chelsea for Merseyside.
Sturridge’s goals have helped Liverpool score 20 more goals than Chelsea, while Manchester City have scored 17 more—both having played less than the league leaders.
Although Chelsea remain competitive in the Champions League and lead the way domestically, doubts will remain over their credentials to be a great side until their striking issues are resolved.
Metro's Gavin Brown linked them with a move for Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, who Radio Renascenca (h/t Sky Sports) report might yet feature in the upcoming World Cup after overcoming a knee ligament injury.
What’s clear, though, is that Chelsea’s already long list of underused wingers, coupled with underperforming forwards, means they should not waste time chasing a rival’s targets that they don’t need.
They should focus instead on what they do need: goals.