Chelsea Transfer News: Top 5 Targets for August
With one month to go in the summer transfer window, Chelsea has yet to make a move for any player of immediate impact.
That is not to say they haven't tried.
Players who have made past lists like this one have instead opted to go elsewhere or stay with their current club.
However, the circumstances do not seem quite as dire as they did a month ago.
A team that many believed would need a serious makeover to implement Andre Villa-Boas' 4-3-3 attacking formation has proven through the preseason that that is not true.
A perfect 4-0-0 record, including clean sheets in every game, show that the current squad is more than capable of being competitive next season.
At this point, it looks as if Villa-Boas and his staff are more concerned with the players they have. If they are able to continue to develop, there is no reason to waste time, money and energy bringing in someone who can disrupt that balance.
With that said, no coach would ever argue against having more depth on their squad.
Perhaps Chelsea are no longer looking for that £50-million-plus player that will be deemed the signing of the season before the first ball has even been kicked off.
The focus has shifted to finding key role-players who will strengthen a squad whose biggest weakness is their age, as well as bringing in players to fill the shoes of veterans once they retire.
Here are five players Chelsea will be looking at over the next 30 days.
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Chelsea have pursued no other player as intently as they have the Tottenham midfielder.
Since the opening of the transfer window, even before Villa-Boas arrival, the club put in a bid for the Croatian.
We all know the story by now: Chelsea makes a bid, Spurs reject, Chelsea makes another bid, Redknapp says 'hands-off', Modric hands in transfer request, etc.
It may be the "transfer saga" of the summer, as neither side seems to waver on their stance.
It is easy to see why AVB—or any coach for that matter—would want a player like Modric on their side.
He is a very reliable and talented central midfielder with an eye for the game and passing ability that approaches the level of a player like Iniesta.
With the loss of Michael Essien to injury, the need to have another strong central midfielder has only been compounded.
Javier Pastore's move to PSG has also added pressure as well as freed up more money to go after Modric.
Last week, Chief Executive Ron Gourlay announced that the club will make one final bid of £30 million for the 25-year-old.
But the move seems to be totally in the hands of Redknapp and the Spurs. They have so far refused any offering and do not look like they will budge for any reasonable sum.
This "saga" could be over by the end of this week.
It would be a great signing for the club and would surely give the fans something to look forward to for the new season.
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Meireles is a new name on the Chelsea transfer watch who joined almost immediately after Pastore chose PSG.
Caughtoffside.com reports that Villa-Boas is interested in bringing the player he sold in his first season at the helm in Porto.
Meireles fits a number of criteria that make him a good player to come in and help strengthen a depleted midfield.
He has the ability to play either central, where he can take on defenders and carry the ball if needed, or as a holding midfielder, where he can drop back and be the link between the attack and defense.
In his first season at Liverpool, he made 41 appearances and was an integral part in their late-season resurgence that saw them as one of the hottest clubs at the season's end.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to look into Meireles is the deal that you could get him for.
Liverpool has brought in Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam to the team. Meireles could find his starting position compromised by these two young English starlets as the club builds for the future.
Furthermore, Meireles is reported to be unhappy with the lack of contract negotiations between him and the club—an obvious sign that his future may not lie at Anfield.
Liverpool may be willing to sell him on the cheap to Chelsea.
It could turn into one of those deals that you look back on as a brilliant move by the Blues and a huge misstep by the Merseyside club.
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Chelsea has been seeking a reliable, true wing player since AVB came to Stamford Bridge.
Adam Johnson looks the most likely now to fill that role.
There are a number of reasons to pursue the English youngster for what he can do on the field. But the things that Manchester City seem to fail to realize are the reasons why he has been linked to a move away from Eastlands.
Many see Johnson as a future star in the English game.
His skill, creativity and flair are all desired by a fledgling English national side. At only 24 years old, he has real potential to become a legend for the Three Lions.
But to do so, he must play. With the arrival of Sergio Aguero, the season where Johnson was thought to become an everyday player has been put in serious doubt.
Though competition will still be stiff at Chelsea, he will not have to compete against the £38 million price tag of Aguero.
Kalou and Sturridge have done a fine job in the preseason manning that right wing role. But Sturridge is still young and Kalou can not be expected to play at his best game in and game out.
Johnson may come and serve as a player to be rotated with the other two, but he will probably find more playing time than he would at Man City.
For AVB, he would also serve the logistical issue of appeasing the "home-grown player" rule.
At only 18 years of age, Lukaku has already made waves in the Belgian game big enough to attract interest in London.
He has been the focus of much of Chelsea's transfer talk, not only for his innate ability to find the net, but also his likening as the "next Drogba."
Power, speed, touch, finesse.
He has it all and is expected to become one of the greatest strikers of the next generation.
Where he is going to land is really a crap shot at this point.
He has bounced back and forth between staying with his current club, Anderlecht, and making the move to West London. He has the luxury in being young enough that the decision is really not one that will dictate the rest of his future.
If he were to come to Chelsea, he probably would not see much playing time.
It would be quite difficult for the "next Drogba" to usurp the current one or have him playing over the £50-million Torres. More than likely he would probably be loaned out, perhaps even back to Anderlecht.
But signing the Belgian would further show AVB's intelligence and foresight of the team.
He has made only two signings thus far, and both are only 19 years old. He is obviously building a team for the future, recognizing that that the players he has now are enough to win, but they won't be in three or four years.
Lukaku may not be an impact player now, but his signing could be looked back on as one of the greatest in the clubs history.
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It is ridiculous to think that Kaka is even on the market.
The former World Player of the Year has reportedly found himself on the outside looking in at Real Madrid.
As Jose Mourinho continues to naively think that buying overpriced midfielders is the way to stop Messi, Kaka has become a steal-in-the-making.
The Brazilian suffered numerous injuries last season and ultimately lost his preferred right wing spot to Christiano Ronaldo.
Reports suggest he could become available for a mere £25 million.
Though he is now 29 years old and may not have the legs he had at 26, he is still a world-class player and one of the hardest workers in the game.
He would work tirelessly on the right side to feed the ball in to the forwards as well as make cutting runs inside to find his own goals.
AVB has preached about bringing flair to his side. Well, no one could provide it better than Kaka.
Chelsea first wanted the winger back in 2009 before he opted to go to Madrid.
Back then, the asking price was in the neighborhood of €65 million. Now available at less than half that price, you are getting a player that—when healthy—may be even worth more than it.
What would stall a deal for Kaka would probably have more to do with the player's own reservations about the Premier League.
Though he did not say it in 2009, many believe he chose Madrid because of the comfort and quality Brazilians play with in Spain as opposed to England.
It is true that not many Brazilians have prospered in the English game.
But if any could do it, it would be the industrial attitude of Kaka.
Who Do You Think Villa-Boas Will Sign, If Anyone?
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These five players have all been linked to moves to Stamford Bridge, but all are far from certain.
Who did I miss on this list that you would like to see in a blue jersey next season?