4 Things for Chelsea Fans to Look Forward To
The World Cup may almost be here, but it's not the only reason football fans will be feeling excited over the coming weeks.
There is a busy summer of transfer dealings ahead, followed by pre-season friendlies and the start of the new club season in August.
For Chelsea, Jose Mourinho's second season back in west London promises to be another entertaining one, with the prospect of silverware a very real possibility after a campaign of progress on and off the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
But what can Blues fans look forward to the most? Bleacher Report highlights four things that are sure to get them excited ahead of 2014-15.
1. Diego Costa
Our image above shows Diego Costa celebrating his Champions League strike for Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in April.
That goal came in the second of the Blues' Champions League semi-final legs with Costa's current employers.
If rumors are to be believed, it's a sight that will become very familiar to Chelsea fans over the coming season.
As Gary Jones of the Daily Star reports, the Spanish international could arrive in west London before the World Cup this summer, with Chelsea getting a major bit of business secured early as they prepare for 2014-15.
It would be a major coup, and given his goalscoring form these past few seasons, he is expected to put to an end Chelsea's struggles with their strikers.
For that reason alone, Blues fans will relishing Costa's arrival.
2. John Terry's Swansong?
After much speculation, this week saw John Terry sign a new one-year contract extension that will see him remain a Chelsea player until the end of 2014-15.
That will bring him up to his 34th birthday and when previous injuries are taken into consideration, there's a considerable chance it could prove to be his last year at Stamford Bridge.
From thinking the end was nigh, Chelsea fans now have another 12 months to applaud and cheer the man they describe as their "captain, leader, legend."
He has the opportunity to end his Chelsea career with silverware, too, after finishing 2013-14 empty-handed.
3. Jose Mourinho's Little Horse Maturing into a Stallion
Described in one of the soundbites of the season as being a "little horse," we can be sure the next 12 months will see Chelsea develop into a fine, strong stallion.
It was Jose Mourinho who dubbed his team as such in February, per BBC Sport, but as time goes on we can already see the signs Chelsea are maturing.
The likes of Andre Schurrle continue to blossom, finishing 2013-14 strong, while Eden Hazard, Oscar and others will ensure the Blues continue their development.
Mourinho's comment was taken largely out of context.
The impression was that he was referring to Chelsea having too many young players to compete, when the average age of his squad suggested otherwise.
It was more of a case of highlighting that his team's evolution was in its formative years compared to others, however.
The worrying thing for Chelsea's rivals is they maintained their title push until the penultimate weekend of the campaign, all the while competing in the Champions League.
Now they've spent a season together, the development of Mourinho's players will continue apace and Chelsea fans will relish seeing it.
4. Premier League Glory
The past season proved a case of so near, yet so far for Chelsea as Jose Mourinho's side fell just short in the Premier League and Champions League.
The Blues finished third in the league, reaching the semi-finals of Europe's No. 1 cup competition.
That will change in 2014-15.
It's a bold statement to make, especially given that 2013-14 finished less than a week ago, but looking at where Mourinho is taking the Blues, they must already be marked down as favorites for the title next term.
Mourinho hates losing as much as he enjoys winning and we can be certain he will do everything to ensure 2015 doesn't end the same as it has this season—trophyless.
The Premier League will be Mourinho's target and with a prolific striker added to his ranks, along with one or two more tweaks, his Chelsea team will take some beating.
Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes