Jose Mourinho's midfield looks like it is settled for the 2014-15 campaign, despite fresh links to Real Madrid's Sami Khedira, on a day when Oriol Romeu joined Stuttgart on a season-long loan.
Khedira remains linked with the west London outfit, but the Daily Star's Paul Brown writes that the Blues will now hold off until next summer in their attempts to land the Arsenal target on a free transfer.
A massive factor in any Khedira departure from the Spanish capital is thought to be his wage requirements. Arsenal are also linked to the midfielder, per Brown's article, but Chelsea would surely be far more equipped to meet his demands should it come down to mere finances.
He [Fabregas] can play as a no.8 or no.10. If he plays as a no.10 he can score goals. If he plays as a no.8 he can give stability to the team.
I see him everywhere because he can play everywhere. His best quality is the speed with which he analyses the game and executes it. It’s difficult for him to lose the ball or make the wrong decision. He can accelerate or reduce the intensity of the game. He’s very intelligent. We need his football brain in our team.
We have Matic and Mikel as the anchormen. They are positional players. We have Oscar and Willian, no.10s, if you can say that. Fabregas is both. He is a little bit like the missing piece of our engine. We are so happy and all the players are too – they have a fantastic feeling with him because of how quickly he thinks on the pitch.
Fabregas is the only midfielder to join this summer following Frank Lampard's departure for free agency.
Arsene Wenger's side have offered stiff competition for the World Cup winner as they seek to add more steel in midfield, German internationals Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski already based in north London.
Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft commented at Khedira's future, hinting the Gunners have a greater need for his services as they seek a future successor to the ageing Mikel Arteta:
The club also have Marco van Ginkel returning to fitness, the highly rated Dutchman having been stricken with a season-ending knee injury early last term.
The Mirror's Ed Malyon says the Blues' squad will be on a par with Manchester City's by the end of the transfer window:
IF! If Arsenal are going for Khedira, I think it's a wise move. Can give their midfield better balance. #afc— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) August 4, 2014
One figure who won't play a part in that roster, though, is Romeu, who Chelsea's official club website revealed has joined Stuttgart for the 2014-15 season.
Oliver Todd of the Daily Mail says the departure means Chelsea now meet the quota of no more than 17 over-21 foreign players being present in their squad:
Chelsea's side looking good but at least one more striker to arrive. Will have a squad as strong as Man City's by the end of all this.— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) July 16, 2014
Khedira's arrival would push that number over the threshold once more, providing further belief that the German won't arrive this summer.
It's Romeu's second successive loan spell away from Stamford Bridge, having been farmed out to Valencia last season after failing to establish a presence at his parent club.
Mourinho's market moves over the past year have gifted the manager a handsome array of midfield figures to choose from.
Right now it would appear he has no requirement for Khedira's talents, but it would be no surprise if the Chelsea boss is already planning something for a future transfer window.