Wesley Sneijder and 9 Other Potential Summer Transfer Targets for Chelsea

Will J BakerCorrespondent IIIJune 1, 2011

Wesley Sneijder and 9 Other Potential Summer Transfer Targets for Chelsea

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 29:  Wesley Sneijder of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates after the goal scored by Samuel Eto'o during the Tim Cup final between FC Internazionale Milano and US Citta di Palermo at Olimpico Stadium on May 29, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Pho
    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    It is clear that a major summer reshuffle is needed at Stamford Bridge after a disappointing season without a trophy.

    Carlo Ancelotti's departure has left a hole that needs to be filled, and some of the top managers in world football have already been linked to the job.

    Andre Villas Boas, Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Guus Hiddink have already been linked to arguably the most high-pressure job in football today.

    But it is not just the manager that needs to be replaced; Chelsea need to replace some of their aging stars who no longer make a meaningful contribution week in week out.

    Here are ten footballers around the world that Roman Abramovich's pocket book may zero in on over the summer period.


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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Kaka of Real Madrid attends the launch of the new adidas Predator boot at the Truman Brewery on May 17, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Gary Prior/Getty Images for adidas)
    Gary Prior/Getty Images

    Chelsea have lacked creativity all season, and the signing of Kaka would solve all of those problems. He has struggled with injuries at the Bernabeu, but he is still a world-class player.

    He has the ability to link up with strikers and can pose a serious goalscoring threat making runs from deep.

    His all-action dribbling style may also be better suited to the hundred mile an hour pace of the English game than the slower passing style on show in Spain.

    If Madrid move for Fabregas in the summer, then Kaka could be available at a reduced price.


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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27:  Neymar of Brazil looks on during the International friendly match between Brazil and Scotland at Emirates Stadium on March 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    The Brazilian sensation has been making headlines all year for Santos, both for his footballing prowess and his off-the-pitch antics.

    He has similar characteristics to Mario Balotelli and the Brazilian national team have already dropped hints that Neymar is the future. 

    This explosive striker cannot stop scoring in South America and, although he has the potential to be a loose cannon, Neymar is someone that would be worth an investment. 

Eden Hazard

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    LA CORUNA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 05:  Eden Hazard of Belgium controls the ball during the Group 5 FIFA2010 World Cup Qualifier match between Spain and Belgium at the Riazor stadium on September 5, 2009 in La Coruna, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Eden Hazard could be the hottest property in world football with Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid reported to be knocking at his door.

    The Belgian playmaker could be the long-term replacement for Frank Lampard in terms of goalscoring from midfield.

    He has sensational ball skills, perfect close control, and an eye for goal that is uncanny.

    Fernando Torres needs someone to create chances for him to feed on, and Hazard could be effectively employed in the deep-lying center forward role made famous by Gianfranco Zola.

Rafael Van Der Vaart

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30:  Rafael van der Vaart of Spurs controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on April 30, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    The former Hamburg and Real Madrid star has a legitimate claim to signing of the season after a injury-plagued yet excellent season with Tottenham.

    Van der Vaart offers creative input from midfield and has never failed to contribute an impressive goal return throughout his career.

    Abramovich has already shown interest in capitalizing on the fact that Tottenham failed to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season.

    This could cause an exodus from White Hart Lane of players of Van der Vaart's caliber who clearly deserve to play in Europe's premier club competition.

    All of this combined with the fact that Van der Vaart does not need a transition process to settle down to life in London could make the Dutch maestro the ideal signing. 

Sergio Aguero

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid reacts during the Copa del Rey quarter final first leg match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 13, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Get
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Chelsea have made their bed with the £50 million signing of Torres and now they have to lie in it. Torres has so far been unable to forge an effective partnership with either Nicholas Anelka or Didier Drogba.

    So why not bring in a player who has played with Torres before at Athletico Madrid and has a fantastic future ahead of him?

    Aguero has been compared to Lionel Messi, and for the past four seasons has never failed to break the 20-goal barrier in all competitions.

    His mercurial dribbling ability, uncanny striker's instinct, and his diminutive link-up play make him Athetico's most valuable asset. He has been deserving of a big money move for some time now.

Romelu Lukaku

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    This man has been labelled the new Didier Drogba and with Chelsea's Ivory Coast forward potentially looking for a way out of Stamford Bridge, Lukaku could be the ideal replacement.

    The fact that he has never competed in a major European league could be a drawback, but Lukaku's goal record speaks for itself.

    At the tender age of 18, he has already netted 41 goals in two seasons with Anderlecht.

    He is pacy, powerful and he has that uncanny striker's instinct that is so important.

    Chelsea are notoriously bad at developing young players, but if Lukaku was given a run in the first team, then he could blossom.

    He is very much in demand, but Chelsea should be expected to win any race for his signature.

Carlos Tevez

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    BOLTON, ENGLAND - MAY 22:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between  Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City at the Reebok Stadium on May 22, 2011 in Bolton, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    There have been rumors for months that the Manchester City captain is unhappy and wants to leave.

    There are not many clubs that could afford to pay the undoubtedly hefty transfer fee on top of the astronomical weekly wages.

    But Tevez has been linked with Chelsea in the past, and it would make a nice change for the fans that are used to lack of desire and effort on the part of their attackers (Nicholas Anelka).

    Tevez never fails to commit 100% to the cause, and he will close down defenses all match long.

    But on top of his unbelievable work rate, the Argentine is also a sensationally gifted footballer.

    Tevez and Torres in partnership would be a force to be reckoned with for Premier League defenses.

Wesley Sneijder

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    MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 23:  Wesley Sneijder of FC Inter Milan during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 23, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Wesley Sneijder is another playmaker figure that has, at one time, been called the best player in the world.

    He has lit up two major international tournaments for Holland, and he has an impressive club record for Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

    He was arguably the key man for Inter during their successful Champions League campaign, and the Dutchman has shown signs of discontent ever since Mourinho left.

    There is no doubt that Chelsea would have to fork out the cash with Manchester United also said to be in the mix for Sneijder's signature.

    However if Marco Van Basten or Guus Hiddink find themselves in the top job at Chelsea next season, it could influence Sneijder's decision favorably for Chelsea fans.

Luka Modric

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Luka Modric of Spurs celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 15, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (P
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Modric was rumored to be an Abramovich transfer target in the January transfer window, and he might have made the difference in Chelsea's season.

    His small stature and his low center of gravity make it very difficult to dispossess the Croatian, and his passing range is superb.

    If Chelsea are still in the market for him, then the fact that Tottenham will not be playing Champions League football next season may influence his decision.

    Tottenham will also be very reluctant to part with him, as most Spurs fans will tell you that he was their player of the season in 2010/11.

Gareth Bale

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    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 07: Gareth Bale of Spurs on the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Blackpool at White Hart Lane on May 7, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Fabio Capello has described him as the "best footballer on the planet," and while I would not go that far, it is undeniable that Bale possesses raw talent.

    He lit up Europe on a number of occasions this season, and the Champions League bug could be a factor in his decision to leave White Hart Lane.

    Despite his searing pace and his, at times mesmerizing wing work, Bale is injury-prone and has always struggled with consistency.

    Against the best fullbacks in the world, he has so far come up short, and Chelsea would have to change their whole footballing philosophy to incorporate him.

    Added to the gigantic amount of money that Spurs are demanding for him, I think it would be best if Chelsea left well enough alone.