7 Strikers Whom Chelsea Could Buy This Summer
Jose Mourinho showed his complete lack of faith in Chelsea's strike force during Wednesday's Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain by starting midfielder Andre Shurrle up front.
Here are some of the men who could replace Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba.
Radamel Falcao has been on Chelsea's radar since his days at Porto—long before he scored a hat-trick against the Blues in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup Final.
Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of the Colombian and has even suggested that he is wasting his time at an outfit like Monaco. "I don't have Falcao but Falcao doesn't have a club. Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters? If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be the end," he told Canal Plus (h/t The Guardian).
According to Transfermarkt, the injured striker is worth around €60 million, which means Chelsea would probably have to make some sacrifices elsewhere in the team to maintain their commitment to Financial Fair Play.
If Falcao's injury problems or incredibly complicated third-party ownership prohibit a move, Chelsea could consider his international strike partner, Jackson Martinez.
The Porto striker has been linked with a move to London a few times in the past year and El Tiempo (h/t the International Business Times) reported that the man himself has flirted with the idea of joining a bigger side too.
"I cheered for Arsenal when I was a kid—I love their style of play," he told reporters. "If I get a chance to play for a high level club like Arsenal I wouldn’t hesitate to accept it."
With 25 goals in 30 league games, it's fair to say that La Liga's second-leading scorer, Diego Costa, is in excellent form.
As such, the Brazilian-born Spanish international has attracted plenty of attention from other suitors, including Chelsea.
Costa is a hard-working striker built from the same no-nonsense mould as Didier Drogba. He grew up playing on the streets rather than in an academy, so he is more than capable of dealing with physical Premier League defences. He is a very angry man, and Mourinho likes a player with a bit of passion!
Mario Mandzukic has been an important part of Bayern Munich's unstoppable winning machine this season, contributing 17 league goals in 26 games.
Die Roten are keen to hold on to the Croatian forward, but The Daily Mail note that he is seeking more first-team football and has just one year left on his contract. This summer, therefore, is the time to sell.
The Daily Mail also claim that the Blues would be battling against Arsenal for his signature, but one would imagine they could offer better terms than their North London rivals.
Transfermarkt puts his market value at €30 million.
Ezequiel Lavezzi spoiled the party for Chelsea on Wednesday evening by scoring a superb solo goal that will make the return leg particularly challenging.
According to Sky Italia (h/t The Express), Jose Mourinho has a "long-term interest" in the Argentinean and talks have been held between Roman Abramovich's representatives and his agent.
Lavezzi isn't exactly an ideal solution to the Blues' striker problem, as he is best-suited to a winger or second striker role, but he would certainly add quality to the attacking line.
Lavezzi's teammate, Edinson Cavani, is also on the Chelsea radar, with Jose Mourinho recently discussing the possibility of a move for the Uruguayan in the Canal Plus interview transcribed by ESPN FC.
Thanks to his phenomenal prowess in Italy, however, Cavani would be an extremely expensive option for Chelsea: He cost Paris Saint-Germain £54 million and is thought to earn an £8.3 million salary.
The 27-year-old has expressed a liking for the Premier League, but according to RMC radio (h/t ESPN FC), PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he is not going anywhere.
This means Chelsea will want him even more.
I have praised the virtues of Real Madrid starlet Alvaro Morata countless times on this website. The 21-year-old is currently confined to super-sub status in Spain, often coming on to give Karim Benzema a break.
However, he is surely destined for bigger things and opportunities that Los Blancos won't necessarily provide him.
However, Jose Mourinho is known to prefer a more experienced striker, so Morata may have greater chances of joining a club who like to polish diamonds, like Arsenal.
Honourable Mention: Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea appear to be searching the world for top striking talent, but one of their best options is surely already on their books.
Romelu Lukaku has been helping Everton reach for the Champions League this season and The Daily Mail have compiled statistics that reveal he is more prolific than any of Chelsea's current strike options.
Before they sell off a valuable asset to pay for a mega-star striker, wouldn't it be worth recalling Lukaku and giving him a shot?