Chelsea are determined to improve their attacking options in January, and latest reports indicate the Blues are engineering moves for South American duo Carlos Bacca and Alex Teixeira.
According to Spanish newspaper Estadio Deportivo, Bacca of AC Milan is the "preferred choice" for interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink, and his side is reportedly seeking a £30 million move (h/t Daily Star's Marc Williams).
Diego Costa's form has improved since Hiddink took over at Stamford Bridge following Jose Mourinho's dismissal in December, but the west Londoners appear to be concentrating winter recruitment efforts on the forward line.
It was supposed Radamel Falcao's loan spell at Chelsea could be cut short, but Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev was quoted by the Mirror's Hamish Mackay saying a return is not possible: “Falcao is currently injured. He has six to eight weeks to go like that. We have decided not to take him back to Monaco for the moment.”
Another Colombia international could join the club's ranks, though, as word grows regarding a move for Bacca, who has scored nine goals in 21 appearances for Milan since joining the club last summer.
However, according to David Amoyal, a translator for Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the 29-year-old former Sevilla star doesn't represent good value for money because of his lack of sell-on potential:
Hiddink has Loic Remy as a back-up option in attack, but the Frenchman doesn't appear to rank highly at Chelsea, having started in just four of his 14 appearances across all competitions so far this season.
Williams also cited a report from Football Insider that claimed a contract has been offered to Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Teixeira, although nothing has reportedly been agreed.
Teixeira spoke to Brazilian outlet Lance! in November, calling it his "dream" to play for Chelsea and hinted at his excitement to play in the Premier League (h/t Metro's Will Giles):
What I saw and what my manager said was that Chelsea, Juventus and [Paris Saint-Germain] made proposals. I’m glad to have received the proposal of Chelsea as they are a big club in Europe, but my manager will sort that.
It’s my dream, I have spoken to many people who have the desire to play in the Premier League, because I think it’s the best World Championship, most competitive. For January, I believe it is very difficult because it is in the middle of the championship. Shakhtar has said they will not release me in January, only at the end of the season. But I’m with a clear head.
According to the report, the Blues are hoping £24 million will be sufficient to land their target after seeing Teixeira net 26 goals in 26 games for Shakhtar this season.
Goal's Emanuel Rosu recently provided quotes from Miners manager Mircea Lucescu, who insisted there has been no offer for his player yet:
Mircea Lucescu on Alex Teixeira: "There isn't ANY offer for Alex. The offers are only in the English media so far!"— Emanuel Roşu (@Emishor) January 9, 2016
While Bacca would be seen as more of an out-and-out striker, Teixeira can play closer to the midfield and pull strings as a No. 10, having also racked up five assists in 2015-16.
Eden Hazard has struggled to hit top form this season, so such an asset could well be of use to Hiddink, who looks poised to splash the cash this winter in a bid to see his positive Chelsea start continue.