Jose Mourinho's forward line has long been an area of intense focus at Stamford Bridge, for better or worse, but this summer is expected to transform the makeup of those leading Chelsea's attack.
Diego Costa is expected to be the major new arrival this summer, the man Mourinho trusts to spearhead Chelsea's assault on the Premier League title.
However, while the deal remains very much in the pipeline, Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has revealed Chelsea are yet to pay a penny toward Costa's signature, per Metro: "Chelsea have made contact but we haven’t received any money or anything else yet. Until we do, he remains an Atletico player."
Of any team with the funds necessary to sanction a quick purchase, one would think Chelsea to be as prompt as any other clubs in terms of meeting payments, but Costa will remain a Rojiblanco until the cheque has been cashed it seems.
Earlier this month, Chelsea activated the £32 million release clause in Costa's contract, with the La Liga champion quoted by the Express' James Dickenson confirming the exit last week: "My future is at Chelsea. Atletico Madrid has been my home and I am very grateful to this club."
Costa was far from his attacking best at the 2014 World Cup as Spain rode to a shock group-stage exit, with Goal.com's Greg Stobart jesting whether Mourinho may want to back out of the deal altogether:
Diego Costa really has been rubbish in this tournament. Too late for #CFC to pull out?— Greg Stobart (@gstobart) June 18, 2014
It's highly likely that Chelsea's failure to pay is little more than a delay, but Atleti would undoubtedly be more than happy to hang on to their 2013-14 top scorer should the move collapse in what would be quite bizarre circumstances.
Should the transfer materialise, however, it looks all the more likely that Costa will be duelling with Romelu Lukaku for a place in the starting XI, following the latest reports of what 2014-15 holds for the youngster.
Chelsea do not want to farm Lukaku out on loan for a third successive season, according to the player's agent, who adds that the striker may look to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge.
The Express' Ben Jefferson quotes Oscar Darmiani Jr. saying:
Chelsea doesn't want to loan him out. He has two years left on his contract and we would normally look at extending it shortly.
Did I see him after the match against Russia? Yeah, he was pretty quiet but he is a player who doesn't have anything to prove. Of course, the World Cup is the World Cup. I'm sure he'll bounce back in the next game.
Lukaku has also been a disappointment at this summer's World Cup, and while Belgium have qualified for the competition's round of 16, his individual displays have been uninspired to say the least.
The Press Association's Martyn Ziegler and Peter Hall of Sky Sports have each offered criticism of the forward, who has otherwise enjoyed a good buildup to the Brazil tournament while on loan at Everton:
Lukaku's stats are dismal: 2 games, 1 shot, 0 dribbles, 0 tackles, worst pass rate; but Hazard is being encouraging http://t.co/fa1YrYbbzJ— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) June 23, 2014
What a dreadful World Cup for Lukaku. Having achieved so much already in his career, it's a surprise to see him toiling away.— Peter Hall (@PeteHall86) June 22, 2014
Darmiani doesn't mention anything about a permanent sale, though, and while a temporary departure may not be on the table, Chelsea may still look to sell if a party is willing to stump up the cash.
As things stand, it looks as though Lukaku, Costa, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba will be the four vying for Mourinho's favour next season, although a long summer full of transfer rumours remains.