Chelsea Transfer News: Latest Buzz Regarding Blues' Summer Plans

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMay 21, 2014

Chelsea's Frank Lampard, left, celebrates his goal against Stoke City with teammate Willian during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, April 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

The 2013-14 Premier League season ended just days ago, but Chelsea are hitting the ground running as they approach the summer transfer window.

It's been a decent start to Jose Mourinho's second tenure with the Blues for the most part, with a third-place finish in the EPL and a trip to the Champions League semifinals. But at the end of it all, the club finished without a trophy for the first season since 2010-11.

Mourinho loves to put his stamp on a club by chasing out players he clashes with, something he's done in his first season with the Juan Mata fallout. But he's even more known for completing big-money signings that change the face of a club, and he's certainly planning some of those heading into the transfer window.

Let's take a look at all of the news coming out of Europe surrounding Chelsea's summer intentions.


Lampard to Stay for One More Year?

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

While Chelsea is certainly looking to move in a new, youthful direction in the midfield, the club was quick to focus on a one-year deal for one of their oldest and most well-respected players.

According to Express' Tony Banks, Chelsea are "on the brink" of signing Lampard for one more year soon after he returns from international training and before the World Cup:

A source close to Lampard said last night: "Frank is feeling very positive about the whole thing. He fully expects his Chelsea future to be resolved at some point next week before he flies off to Brazil.

"He is not looking at any other option other than spending next season at Stamford Bridge."

The move was the second short-term deal the club has made for one of their most tenured players. John Terry is also returning to Chelsea on a one-year deal, per The Telegraph's Matt Law.

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Lampard and Terry are Chelsea football. Terry has been with the club his entire football career since 1998, while Lampard joined in 2001. Both have more than 420 caps in Chelsea blue, bringing some much-needed experience back for 2014-15. 

While Mourinho is going to be spending most of his time this summer targeting players to build the future of the club around, there's no doubt he earned himself some short-term insurance with these two moves.


Serie A, Not EPL, for Drogba?

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Didier Drogba may be 36 years old, but as one of the best strikers in the history of Chelsea football, it was far from surprising to see both the Blues and Liverpool linked to the now-available striker and current club Galatasaray try to keep him with a one-year deal, per Daily Mail's Simon Jones.

But the latest report from French newspaper L'Equipe, via 101 Great Goals, indicates Drogba will be doing neither—instead, a move to Juventus, or Serie A in general, is looming:

Having spent two season with Galatasaray after his days at Chelsea ended, the Ivorian superstar is now headed to Serie A, if L’Equipe is accurate on Wednesday.

According to the French daily, the Chelsea hero is poised to join Juventus. Drogba is said to be keen on trying to win the Champions League one last time, and a move to Turin fits in with those goals.

Roma are also mentioned as a possible alternative for Drogba if he moves to Italy.

The age of 36 warrants retirement for many footballers, but not Drogba. With 100 goals in his Chelsea career—many years of which came after he hit 30—and 15 goals in 35 appearances at Galatasaray, there's no doubt he still believes he has something left in the tank. 

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

It's unclear why Drogba would prefer Italy's Serie A, a league he's never played in, over a place he played for eight years—especially considering his once-close relationship with Mourinho. 

But after all, it's doubtful that a 36-year-old Drogba would be the surefire first-team striker with Demba Ba and Fernando Torres already on the club, as well as many younger transfer targets to be had. It's hard to say that didn't factor in at some point. 

What Drogba decides to do at the age of 36 likely won't impact his golden legacy at Chelsea, anyway. 


Eliaquim Mangala Prefers Chelsea over City

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

In 2013-14, Chelsea boasted the Premier League's most successful back line with John Terry and Gary Cahill. But Terry, as mentioned above, is 33, and there's no true central defender capable of stepping in right away. 

Eliaquim Mangala figures to be that guy, if Chelsea can shell out upwards of £35 million. The Blues figured to have to hold off Manchester City for the French defender, but he has made his intentions known, per The Telegraph's Mark Ogden:

"City or Chelsea? Chelsea because it is London,” Mangala said, when asked which club he would prefer to play for."

While his thought process of deciding what club to pick is interesting to say the least, Mangala could be just what Chelsea needs in the defense. Terry will soon be gone, and Cahill will be in his 30s by the time they are getting a new central defender up to speed with the first team. 

The Blues have 19-year-old Kurt Zouma, who is on loan with Saint-Etienne, but he may not be ready for first-team EPL football just yet. They also have 27-year-old David Luiz, but he's more effective on the outside of the defense and on the attack. 

Mangala is one of the world's up-and-coming backs, having been selected for the France World Cup roster at the age of 23 and standing out with FC Porto since 2011. Bringing him in would give the Blues some much-needed flexibility in the back line with Terry's retirement looming.