Stamford Bridge is set for a busy summer of transfer business, but the current trend in speculation focuses primarily on those being linked with a move away from Chelsea.
The Blues could wave goodbye to players at both ends of the age spectrum, with Frank Lampard and Thorgan Hazard each entering the headlines regarding potential summer departures.
It's not all about the outgoings, however, as one Brazilian midfielder's link to the west Londoners has been revived, but which Samba star are Chelsea hoping to get their hands on?
Thirteen years after he arrived at the club as a youngster, Lampard could be heading for the Chelsea exit this summer after hitting a roadblock in his contract negotiations.
The Blues are refusing to budge on their wage offer for the soon-to-be 36-year-old, according to the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton, who adds that the club wish for their veteran to take a "substantial cut" on his £150,000-a-week wages.
Even at the age of 35, the England international continues to impress at the elite level, as illustrated by WhoScored.com:
@BatonGovori Frank Lampard had the best cross accuracy (37.4%) in the PL this season of players to attempt 50+ crosses— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 16, 2014
Lampard's long-term club and international teammate John Terry agreed a one-year contract extension with the club earlier this week, and he was quoted by the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel as saying of his new deal:
I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my contract, taking me into my 20th year with the club. I’d like to thank the fans and club for their continued support, and the manager, who was instrumental for me last season.
Both Terry and Lampard have been crucial figures in Chelsea's success over the past decade or so, but it may be time that those at Stamford Bridge begin adjusting to life without the latter.
Having yet to make his senior Chelsea debut, Thorgan Hazard—younger brother of superstar Eden—could already be on his way out of the Stamford Bridge door in the coming months.
The 21-year-old has spent the season on loan in his native Belgium with Zulte Waregem, but Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (h/t ESPN FC) and the Express' David Wright claim that Liverpool, Everton and Schalke are all showing an interest.
In the Het Laatste Nieuws report, Hazard's father Thierry is quoted as saying: "We will take our time to assess all the offers and see which feels best for Thorgan."
Tom Sheen of the Daily Mail reports that Mourinho was on hand to watch the attacker as his side lost to Anderlecht in the Pro League playoffs.
Opta's Tim Simon hopes to see the Toffees once again get good value out of the transfer market, alluding to the successes of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu last term:
Hope Everton do get Thorgan Hazard for next season, they have shown how to make excellent use of the loan market under Martinez.— Tim Simon (@TimSimon90) May 16, 2014
Meanwhile, Chelsea fans will undoubtedly want a temporary move to be as far as matters go after the younger Hazard sibling picked up the Belgian Pro League's equivalent of Player of the Year.
However, those hopes would appear reduced after the Brazil international voiced his happiness after moving to White Hart Lane in an interview with FourFourTwo, per Duncan's report:
"Absolutely not. I know how to handle my career and it’ll take more than just one bad moment before I reconsider my options. We have all got responsibilities at Tottenham and we are ready to go through this."
FourFourTwo's James Maw does state some disappointment in Paulinho's failure to live up to expectation since moving to England:
Paulinho - the Brazilian Lampard, we were told. Six PL goals, four from inside the six-yard box, none of them deflected.— James Maw (@JamesMawFFT) May 13, 2014
If he were to move to Chelsea, the playmaker would be joining countrymen Oscar, Ramires, David Luiz and others as part of a Selecao-inspired engine room, which could be part of Mourinho's alleged reasoning behind the interest.