Chelsea fans should brace themselves for another summer of change at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho is expected to make major moves in the transfer market along his quest to rekindle the good times at the Premier League club.
The Portuguese boss built a dominating team during his first tenure in West London, but can he repeat the triumph? With players such as Sami Khedira and Luke Shaw linked to a mega-money transfer, and emerging talents like Romelu Lukaku waiting for their chance, it seems likely silverware isn't far away.
Let us round up the latest news on the futures of that aforementioned trio.
Latest News on Chelsea's Potential Transfer Activity
In: Sami Khedira, Real Madrid
Mourinho, who brought Khedira to the Bernabeu during his time with Real Madrid, is reportedly interested in landing the German defensive midfielder, according to Jamie Anderson of the Daily Star:
Spanish sources claim that Jose Mourinho is determined to prize his former playmaker away from the Bernabeu and bring him to the Bridge.
Mourinho has been a long-term admirer of the German international, signing him in 2010 from Stuttgart for a fee of £10m - just two months after beginning his tenure at Madrid.
A fee of £36 million is touted, but on first inspection, this sum is perhaps too hefty for an individual whose 2013-14 season has stuttered through injury. Khedira remains a world-class player, someone who naturally asserts himself in the centre of the pitch before deploying a key pass, but the suggested cost appears inflated considering the 27-year-old's lack of recent game time.
Mourinho spent £21 million on Nemanja Matic in January and must be careful of breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, a system he appears to support, per Sky Sports.
Dropping £36 million on a similar player will only be acceptable if David Luiz can be offloaded for the suggested £30 million, a necessary process when ensuring Chelsea avoid stinging sanctions from the European governing body.
In: Luke Shaw, Southampton
Cesar Azpilicueta's excellence at left-back has softened Chelsea's need to find a long-term replacement for Ashley Cole.
Even so, the Luke Shaw saga continues to develop. Southampton's composed talent, who famously supports Chelsea, is set for talks with the Saints hierarchy across the next week, per Joe Bernstein and Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:
Luke Shaw will seek talks with Southampton over his future after their final game of the season against Manchester United on Sunday. ...
Chelsea and Manchester United are expected to lead the bidding for the young defender who has already played 66 first-team games even though he doesn’t turn 19 until July.
Shaw is said to be a "top target" for Louis van Gaal, who is favourite to succeed David Moyes as United boss, per James Dickenson of the Express. As such, this potential transfer may fall too soon for Mourinho, who needs to address other squad areas before dropping £30 million on the talented Englishman.
Out: Romelu Lukaku
Speaking of potential-filled youngsters, Lukaku's future remains in the balance, according to his agent.
The Belgian behemoth, who has posted a second successful season on loan away from Stamford Bridge, is likely to wait and see what the summer brings before weighing up his options.
Christophe Henrotay, the player's representative, spoke to footmercato.net, via ESPN:
For the moment, Romelu belongs to Chelsea. He has two years left on his contract. It's going to depend on Chelsea. After that, we'll see together what the best options are if Chelsea decide to let him go.
That they want to bring in a big-name striker has been well-documented. But Chelsea need lots of great strikers. And if there are too many, they'll choose to allow Romelu to leave.
Henrotay emphasised it is "still too soon" for his client to make a concrete decision. Lukaku remains an incredible talent, someone whose current quality has significantly aided both West Brom and Everton across the past two years, but there's no doubt he has improving to do.
Should Romelu Lukaku be given the chance to establish himself at Chelsea?
Still, 31 Premier League goals away from Chelsea in two years highlights Lukaku's potential, per WhoScored.com. Similar to the situation with Thibaut Courtois, Mourinho must decide whether he wishes to keep his top young talents at the club or sell them for profit. Lukaku could raise vital funds if deemed unneeded, which may help Mourinho satisfy his summer wish list.
Major decisions will need to be taken soon. Players such as Lukaku can improve their stock if they are taken to the World Cup, but Mourinho will also be wary of inflated fees for those he wishes to buy after the tournament.
It will be interesting to witness exactly which direction he takes Chelsea in. Mourinho already has plenty of exciting youth and experienced heads at the club, but as the Blues finish the season without a trophy, he will need to quickly improve the rich side's prospects heading into the 2014-15 campaign.