The winds of change are breezing their way through the Chelsea squad this summer, and Jose Mourinho looks to reshape his roster, with the forward line being an area of immense interest.
With Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba leaving for free agency and Besiktas, respectively, the club moved swiftly to seal Diego Costa's signature, followed up by Friday's announcement of Didier Drogba's return:
However, the Blues' attack has five more weeks in which it's likely to undergo yet more remodelling, with profiles both large and small reported to be on their way in and out of Stamford Bridge's revolving doors.
Along with Drogba and Costa, Romelu Lukaku now faces the prospect of competing with Fernando Torres for a place in Mourinho's setup, and his chances of an exit have never looked more likely.
Romelu had a terrific season for Everton last year and I know everyone at the football club wants to see him back. Hopefully things can be sorted out, I think he’s quite settled in his mind that he wants to come to Everton, and hopefully he’ll be pulling on our blue shirt again next term.
Our loan signings all did brilliant for us last season. Gareth Barry has signed permanently now which is fantastic, and hopefully Lukaku will as well. I know the manager would like back him at Everton and I’m sure if he comes he’ll be a great asset and can help us get to that next level of European football.
Lukaku scored 19 goals in 33 appearances for the Toffees last term, enhancing his already prodigious reputation, but Matthew Stanger of Sky Football feels the youngster may be too confident for his own good:
Think Lukaku should have been more patient. He's only 21, was a bit odd to be calling the shots last summer despite a good season at WBA.— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) July 26, 2014
Roberto Martinez is in dire need of attacking reinforcements after seeing Lukaku's time with the club come to an end, but the Merseysiders maintain a spending policy that will likely see them negotiate the deal until at its utmost value.
An unknown name to many in the English football fraternity, Penarol starlet Kevin Mendez has earned rave reviews in his native Uruguay. As reported by the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, he has captured Chelsea's attention.
However, Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in the forward, with the player's agent Aytekin Erayabakan quoted by Get French Football News as saying:
“I talk with several clubs, some have made offers for him. But not PSG.”
That revelation would give the Blues a glimmer of hope as they seek to add yet another aspiring star to their youthful ranks.
However, Mendez's preference could play a big part in any potential move, and with such a stellar array of clubs chasing his signature, Mourinho still faces a fight to land his man.
Atletico Madrid fans have again made their desires clear in wanting Fernando Torres to return to his former hunting ground.
At the unveiling of summer signing Mario Mandzukic, the Vicente Calderon was reported by Metro to be ringing out the Spaniard's name, showing which striker the club are truly hopeful of re-signing:
Los Rojiblancos veteran Raul Garcia has also encouraged the move, according to the Press Association (h/t The Guardian):
I speak to him [Torres] a lot and he still feels very strongly about this club. His life has been defined by what he experienced here and he is another option just like any other that the media have mentioned. Any great player that can come here will be welcome.
Ever since leaving La Liga, speculation has incessantly risen regarding Torres' possible return to the Spanish capital, the club with whom he first boomed onto the European scene as "El Nino."
His reputation as a deadly finisher may have diminished since then, but it hasn't stopped his former faithful from remaining true to the star who once spearheaded the Atletico attack.