Wesley Sneijder and 9 Other Potential Summer Transfer Targets for Chelsea
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!