Chelsea Transfer News: Jose Mourinho Suggests Blues Need Another Striker

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on March 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has dropped his biggest hint yet that he will sign a world-class striker, after Chelsea's catastrophic scoring failure at Crystal Palace last weekend. 

The Premier League leaders lost both the match at Selhurst Park and their position at the summit of the table, slipping down to second.

Liverpool now lead the race, per BBC Sport, with Manchester City hot on the heels of Mourinho's men in third place, with two games in hand and just two points adrift. 

Sky Sports reports that The Special One wants to bolster his attack for next season. Despite him not wanting to go into detail, they quote the manager as saying the following:

I don't think it's the moment to speak about next season and the market but it's clear to everybody that Chelsea next year wants to bring a striker.

What's the future for the other strikers? The ones who are staying are competing with the striker we are bringing [in]. And normally, at the end of the season, players that are not playing a lot or players who are not happy may prefer a change.

That is also part of the market. We want to improve the team and the players and make some surgical movements in the transfer window.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  A dejected Fernando Torres of Chelsea walks off the pitch following his team's 1-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on March 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Pho
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Following Mourinho's statements, Sky Bet has suspended betting on a Diego Costa transfer to Chelsea, courtesy of Sky Sports' Tim Clement:

Sky Bet's Head of Football Trading Paul Wiggins said: "We've seen an unusually high amount of bets on Costa joining Chelsea, especially given we're some way off the transfer window re-opening.

"We made Chelsea 5/2 favourites when we opened the market and they have been heavily backed over the weekend at odds as short as 4/7, forcing us to suspend the market."

Chelsea's centre-forwards have failed this season in front of goal with Samuel Eto'o only scoring eight times, Fernando Torres just four times and Demba Ba on target a mere three times, per Sky Sports.

Fans of the Blues have been disappointed in Torres, who they paid a club record fee to Liverpool for, and have placed the striker for sale on eBay to show their dissatisfaction in him.

A Chelsea news site tweeted about the comical stunt:

Chelsea's lack of a goalscoring threat was also highlighted by John Cross of the Mirror. 

The respected football correspondent assessed how the Blues approach is different to that of the entertainment value of Manchester City and Liverpool, who have both been free-scoring this season.

He tweeted after City's visit to Arsenal:

Mourinho identified last summer that he needed a top striker when he pursued the signing of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, per Chris Richards of The Mirror, hoping that he might be able to tempt the England superstar to his club in the next window.

But with Rooney now committed to United his search will need to be focused as it is clear that Chelsea's overriding weakness is their front-line.

It is arguable to say that if Chelsea had managed to capture Rooney in any of the previous two transfer windows, that their title challenge would have been more potent than it is at present.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton goes past Leon Britton of Swansea City during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Swansea City at Goodison Park on March 22, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Paul Thomas/Gett
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Mourinho has the option of bringing back in Romelu Lukaku from Everton, who once again has proved his quality as a striker. The player is averaging a goal every two games in the Premier League this season, per Squawka, and his all round play would be more useful to the Stamford Bridge club that any of their current crop of strikers.

It appears that it was a huge mistake by the former Real Madrid coach to allow Lukaku to leave the club again this season, and it might well cost Chelsea the title.

However, if Mourinho can bring in a world-class goalscoring striker in the summer, it will be a game-changer for the West London side, and their title challenge will be more credible than it currently is.