As the 2013/14 season showed us, Chelsea’s squad is just a few players shy of perfection.
With the Blues’ Champions League and Premier League challenges coming up short, manager Jose Mourinho will be desperate to add to his talented squad to make amends for a trophyless season next time around.
Here, we take a look at the players that are rumoured to soon to be in blue and assess the impact they could have in the Premier League.
Diego Costa Latest
With the imminent arrival of Costa, though, there is no space for the Belgian in Mourinho’s plans, and Richardson writes that with no side willing to cough up the £25 million fee for Lukaku, he’ll likely move out on loan.
For Costa, though, Premier League football beckons, and he’ll be looking to bring the kind of form to Stamford Bridge that saw him score 27 goals and create three more in a history-making season for Atletico—per WhoScored.com.
Chelsea have agreed a £32m deal with Atletico Madrid for striker Diego Costa, according to Sky sources. http://t.co/arkzm2kelp— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 12, 2014
Though no deal has been announced just yet, it appears to be only a matter of time before the 25-year-old puts pen to paper.
Another player on Mourinho’s radar is Juventus star Paul Pogba, who played an integral role in the club’s Serie A triumph last season.
With David Luiz reportedly heading to Paris Saint-Germain and Frank Lampard’s deal expiring, Chelsea suddenly look a little light in central midfield.
According to Anthony Chapman of the Sunday Express, Chelsea want the 21-year-old Pogba to plug the hole in the middle of the park, though a Premier League return appears doubtful.
The midfielder has established himself at Juventus since his free transfer from Manchester United two years ago, scoring seven goals and grabbing seven assists in the campaign just gone—per WhoScored.com.
He has a phenomenal engine, and his tough-tackling style is reminiscent of that of Claude Makelele—though Pogba does also get forward to score and create goals.
The Juventus star is undoubtedly capable of being a Premier League sensation, but his signature won’t come cheap, with Chapman’s report suggesting a bid worth up to £68 million was being lined up.
Chelsea will need to bring in a player to line up alongside Nemanja Matic in the heart of midfield next season, but is paying such a staggering fee really worth it?
Just as well, then, that Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has told reporters a big-money contract extension is on the table for Pogba—reported via Chapman:
"I'm absolutely sure that we'll manage to get him to sign a new contract very soon."
Though the pursuit of Pogba is far from over, it’s unlikely Mourinho will get his man, as the Blues’ holding midfielder search continues.
Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia has attracted interest from a whole host of top European clubs after his stellar season in Serie A last season.
The 27-year-old was the shining star in Roma’s 2013/14 campaign, being integral behind the club’s impeccable defensive record that saw them concede just 25 league goals.
0.5 - #Roma conceded 0.5 goals per game on average in the Serie A 2013-14 with Mehdi Benatia on pitch - 1.1 goals without him. Courted.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 30, 2014
The Moroccan’s defensive brilliance, together with his range of passing, make him one of the hottest properties in Italian football, so it’s no surprise Chelsea have been linked with a move for him.
However, as Hannah Duncan of the Metro reports, Benatia is another player that will take a lot of money to prize away from Italy, with Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini putting a £50 million price tag on his prize asset:
Benatia is a guy with sound principles—he didn’t want to take a step away from Roma fans or his teammates. He has been completely coherent; he’s never played for himself, always with and for the team. Personally I think €30 million (£25 million) is the value of Benatia’s weak foot. If Benatia’s weak foot is worth €30 million (£25 million) then the total price would be €61 million (£50 million). Benatia is not for sale, unless someone comes to us with an offer of €61 million (£50 million).
With next season likely to be John Terry’s swan song in a Chelsea shirt, securing the services of a player like Benatia would be a great scalp for the Blues.
However, in Tomas Kalas, Chelsea have an exciting centre-back that could just as ably fill the boots of Terry in the heart of the defence.
Though the Chelsea skipper is a hero at Stamford Bridge, seeing the 21-year-old Kalas regularly line up alongside Gary Cahill for the Blues next year will be far from a surprise, making Benatia’s transfer all the more unlikely.
The good news for Chelsea fans is that Mourinho isn’t the type of manager to just spend money for the sake of spending; his intelligent approach to transfers means the future is bright at Stamford Bridge.
With the additions of a defender, a midfielder or two and Costa, Chelsea will undoubtedly be challenging for silverware on four fronts once again next term.