Jose Mourinho is expected to significantly develop his Chelsea squad during the summer, with names such as Alberto Moreno, Diego Costa and Mario Pasalic currently linked to the club.
The Portuguese boss will likely need to offload a number of stars to fund his spending spree in order to comply with UEFA's financial fair play guidelines, but Roman Abramovich will back his leader to bring in the men who can make Chelsea a winning machine once again.
Here, we detail the latest news surrounding those individuals who could dent the Russian billionaire's money jar.
Latest News on Chelsea's Summer Transfer Targets
Alberto Moreno, Sevilla
Despite the excellent form of Cesar Azpilicueta and Ashley Cole's presence in West London, Mourinho is rumoured to be considering a bid for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno. As noted by Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard, this may be due to the Blues' unwillingness to compete with Manchester United's potential £30 million bid for Luke Shaw:
Chelsea are having second thoughts about trying to sign Luke Shaw due to competition for the Southampton left-back sending his price soaring.
The club have already begun looking at cheaper options, including Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno and Porto’s Alex Sandro.
Despite the nod toward Alex Sandro, it is the Moreno link that refuses to disappear. Chelsea were also rumoured to be in for the 21-year-old back in November, reported by Alan Nixon of the Mirror, who believes the Spaniard would cost around £20 million.
Johnson says Chelsea "were prepared to pay" up to this amount for Shaw, suggesting Moreno may be a cut-price option for the English full-back. He has proven extremely reliable at Sevilla, he is blessed with incisive dribbling skills and the confidence to skip beyond opponents, making Moreno a smart alternative to the Saints defender.
Mario Pasalic, Hajduk Split
Of all the players linked to Chelsea in recent times, Mario Pasalic is likely to be one of the least known to English audiences. The German-born 19-year-old, who represents Croatia at youth level, signed a pre-contract with the Blues in January and is readying himself for a Stamford Bridge medical.
Ivica Loncar—the player's agent—provides the details, as reported by Alex Richards of the Mirror:
Mario would like to stay at Hajduk as long as possible, but the contract is signed and we must respect the desire of the club. There is a chance [he will stay at Hajduk], but they are minimal. Mario will be in London at the end of May for a medical examination and then will know more about his future.
Loncar also confirmed "several interested clubs from Italy, Germany and Spain" could see the player go out on loan, but ultimately, the decision rests with Mourinho. Pasalic has scored 11 goals in 26 games from Hajduk Split's midfield this season, placing Igor Tudor's side third in the Croatian division, per WhoScored.com.
He is unlikely to receive many first-team opportunities in the Chelsea lineup and would be wise to secure a loan deal elsewhere to further his development. With players such as Marco van Ginkel, Lucas Piazon, Christian Atsu, Bertrand Traore and Nathaniel Chalobah expected to return next season—adding to an already stacked midfield—Pasalic may find opportunities limited.
Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid
Another day, another development in the Diego Costa saga. Diego Simeone recently told Spanish radio station Onda Cero (via Sky Sports) he has "no problem" in letting his star striker leave, admitting he will support "any decision" Costa wishes to make.
The player's valuation is difficult to pin down right now. John Cross of the Mirror believes Chelsea will need to offer a "stunning £50 million deal" for his services, while Johnson suggests £32 million will be enough to land the player who has netted 33 goals in 37 games across La Liga and Europe this season.
Rob Draper of the Daily Mail outlines a £40 million fee, indicating estimations are currently being plucked from a lack of details. Whatever the price, Costa's transfer is likely the one Mourinho will need to fund by selling his stars. The Mirror's Martin Lipton suggests Oscar and Eden Hazard could receive the axe, but such transfers will be a step backwards for Chelsea.
Simeone's comments highlight the inevitability of this deal. Costa possesses everything Mourinho craves—pace, power and finishing ability—making him an ideal candidate to lead the side's line. His dogged attitude and willingness to work hard make the Spanish international one of football's hottest properties, but Chelsea will undoubtedly be forced to pay a hefty sum.
Like Moreno, Costa's transfer is worth committing to. Chelsea's play has lacked a consistent cutting edge this campaign, an issue which could see Mourinho's men beaten to the Premier League title by Liverpool, who have no such problem.
Although Pasalic remains a prospect for the future, Moreno and Costa will be battle-ready from the off. Both are hungry, able to contribute right away and flaunt the type of confidence Mourinho exudes on the touchline, making them exciting signings if deals can be brokered.