Chelsea are expected to make significant waves in the transfer market this summer, as Jose Mourinho looks to challenge across four fronts in his second campaign since rejoining the Premier League club.
Toni Kroos and Ezequiel Lavezzi are linked with moves to Stamford Bridge, while Frank Lampard is said to be extending his stay, according to reports. Here, we provide the full details on all three.
Latest on Chelsea's Potential Transfer Activity
In: Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich
Louis van Gaal's decision to rule Manchester United out of the running for Kroos, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, should end the rumours that he is coming to England, right? Wrong. Chelsea are now said to be eyeing the Bayern Munich star, but not until his contract runs out in 2015, as reported by John Edwards of The Daily Mail.
"Toni Kroos could still end up in the Barclays Premier League after claims Chelsea are ready to join the bidding if he becomes a free agent next year," writes Edwards.
Comments from Kroos himself suggest there is little point hunting his signature until next summer. "I am expecting to play for Bayern Munich next season," Kroos told Bild (h/t Sky Sports). "There was a lot of speculation, but Manchester is and was not an issue."
Chelsea are hardly lacking for creative midfielders, suggesting Kroos' presence isn't needed for the time being.
In: Ezequiel Lavezzi, Paris Saint-Germain
Chelsea and PSG look set to conduct plenty of business together in the coming years. Fresh on the back of sending David Luiz across the Channel in a deal worth around £48 million, it seems Chelsea have tried to sound out the French club regarding Lavezzi.
Jack de Menezes of the Independent believes the West London club are "maintaining an interest in the Argentinian international." More worryingly for the Stamford Bridge crowd, Lavezzi "could even find himself part of an offer from PSG for Blues winger Eden Hazard, given that manager Laurent Blanc has openly admitted that the Belgium international is their prime target this summer."
While Chelsea would undoubtedly receive a decent amount of cash if Lavezzi was added to a potential deal for Hazard, such an exchange would surely irritate many supporters. Hazard is a world-class star at just 23 years old and was the club's top scorer during the 2013-14 Premier League campaign. Is he really worth cashing in on for someone six years his senior who has already reached his peak?
In: Frank Lampard
John Terry's decision to recently ink a new deal with Chelsea, combined with Ashley Cole's approaching departure, leaves Lampard in a nervy position. Mourinho has highlighted he will only keep his old guard if they are needed, suggesting the English midfielder could fall afoul of the chop.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, among those said to be interested in the former West Ham player, believes Lampard isn't worth pursuing because he will remain with the Blues, as reported by Jacob Murtagh of GetWestLondon.com.
"You're not going to get Frank Lampard, it's nonsense," Redknapp said. "We couldn't afford Frank - he's still in the England squad. I'm sure he will stay at Chelsea anyway."
Although Lampard's influence in the first team is beginning to wane—the former ever-present started just 29 matches across the domestic division and Champions League in 2013-14, per WhoScored.com—his influence is still useful.
Mourinho likes to interlink experience with youth in his squads, something we are likely to see with his signings throughout the summer. Having previously signed youngsters including Kurt Zouma and Mohamed Salah in January, it's not surprising to see the Portuguese boss agree to a return for Atletico Madrid's veteran midfielder Tiago, as reported by Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
Chelsea are expected to push for trophies next season after failing to land any silverware upon Mourinho's return. The squad always appears to be developing under their current boss, who will sculpt until his team consistently play with an intense, hardworking and well-rounded game.
A money-conscious Mourinho, who knows he must keep UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules in mind, ensures we can expect plenty of surprises across the coming weeks.