The Stamford Bridge entrances and exits are famously busy during the transfer window, and the Blues aren’t about to break the mould in summer 2014.
With some big stars already putting pen to paper in west London, including Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, it’s clear that manager Jose Mourinho is aiming nowhere but the top in the upcoming campaign.
Chelsea fans have been taken every which direction during the reported £60 million transfer saga, but the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, looks to have had the final say on proceedings.
Speaking with Tuttosport, Raiola revealed that Pogba’s recent holiday in London had nothing to do with him signing for the Blues, calling the links “fantasy”—per Joe Short of the Daily Express:
“Paul to Chelsea? It’s just fantasy football. Everything is perfect at Juventus and no meetings are planned."
Pogba’s “perfect” life in Turin has reflected in his play, as he was nothing short of sublime in Serie A last term.
The 21-year-old carried that form on to the World Cup with France, putting together a string of solid performances and being rewarded with the Hyundai Young Player Award—as FIFAWorldCup revealed:
Unlike a certain Lionel Messi, Pogba’s award didn’t come without justification, and Chelsea boss Mourinho was among many admirers that his performances picked up—per Short:
"I would say Pogba has been the best young player, because he had a good World Cup despite the fact his team didn't reach the last four. I think he showed that he is a big player for the next World Cup."
By the World Cup in 2018, who knows where Pogba’s exciting career will be? However, with Mourinho outlining his admiration for the former Manchester United man, it seems that the links will pile up in years to come.
One man that doesn’t look like being part of the Portuguese manager’s long-term plans, though, is Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian has spent successive seasons away from Stamford Bridge on loan with West Bromwich Albion and Everton, but revealed that he’s now ready to play for a Premier League title-challenger—as Metro reported:
I have a few ideas but we’ll see. I have to think about it. I want to be somewhere where I can play my best football and hopefully win titles. There are choices to make. Things like that happen in football and I’m confident I will make the right choice. I’m still 21 but I think I’m experienced enough. I’ve played a lot of games and scored a lot of goals, now I want to win titles and be one of the best.
The 21-year-old was certainly one of the best players in Everton’s setup last season, being instrumental behind their fifth-place finish by contributing 15 league goals and six assists—according to WhoScored.com.
However, it seems that Mourinho still isn’t convinced that Lukaku can fit into his system at Stamford Bridge, and Everton boss Roberto Martinez will be keen to profit from that.
Though it’s doubtful that Chelsea will let the big striker leave permanently given his potential, Martinez told Sky Sports that Lukaku himself will make a decision in the coming weeks:
"Romelu had an incredible season. He is a young man who matured immensely. Every time we spoke about Rom's situation it was very clear that he wanted to go to the World Cup and then make a decision. Obviously it is not going to take too long from now on."
Chelsea are building a young team in their own unique way: signing the cream of the crop and sending them out on loan until they’ve matured into a something special.
Lukaku is already that something special, and it’s clear that many fans will be disgruntled should he move away from the Bridge on a permanent basis.
Another young player that Chelsea are hoping will blossom is Ecuadorian youngster Josi Quintero, who made the switch to west London on Friday according to Sky Sports.
At the tender age of 17, Quintero has a lot of time to develop with Chelsea before he threatens breaking into the first team, but he showed during his youth days with Barcelona that he has the potential to do that sooner rather than later.
Highly rated in Catalonia, Quintero revealed the news of his transfer himself via Twitter, expressing his joy at signing on with Chelsea:
Though Blues fans were hoping for more high-profile signings than Quintero, it adds a little bit more light to the already bright future in west London.
You get the feeling that the coming months in the transfer window are going to be crucial to Chelsea’s season.
Though some world-class stars have put pen to paper, there are just a few pieces missing from Mourinho’s elite puzzle.
If anyone can find the right men to fill those gaps, though, it’s Mourinho, and the Blues can undoubtedly look forward to an eventful 2014/15.