Chelsea Transfer News: Today's Blues Gossip on Luka Modric, Alex and Benayoun

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2011

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 19: Luka Modric of Tottenham in action during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge match between Orlando Pirates and Tottenham Hotspur from Mbombela Stadium on July 19, 2011 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivmabu /Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

After a disappointing 0-0 draw with Stoke City to open the season, it is clear Chelsea will need to make some moves before the transfer window closes if they plan on sticking with the two teams from Manchester for the duration of the season.

Luka Modric has been the name most frequently discussed over the past few days and the speculation began to heat up again after it was noted that Modric would miss Tottenham's Europa League match against Heart of Midlothian. posted a report today that the coaching staff is skeptical about the actual amount of distress that the injury has caused Modric. The Spurs brass know Modric would prefer a move to Stamford Bridge and think he could be using the injury as leverage.

The 25-year-old midfielder would bring his solid playmaking abilities to a Blues lineup that is in need of somebody who can create offense. Modric would also bring a new level of quickness to the midfield, which should open up more space for his teammates on the attack.

The Croatian international clearly would like his days at White Hart Lane to end sooner rather than later, but the Spurs aren't going to let him go without receiving what they deem to be a fair price. Chelsea are rumored to be formulating another offer for him right now.

Yossi Benayoun may be added to the offer for Modric, according to a report in The Guardian. This report follows previous speculation that Salomon Kalou would be added into the mix as well. Chelsea are reluctant to increase their cash offer by much more, so they are using depth players as assets instead.

There has been little noise out of the Tottenham camp over the entire process, aside from discussing Modric's injury, so it is unclear whether they would be interested in either Benayoun or Kalou (or possibly both) as pot sweeteners.

Brazilian defender Alex continues to draw interest from Italian giant Juventus. The powerful center back would be a welcome addition for Juve, who have been in the market for a player like Alex for quite some time.

The move would leave a hole in the middle of the Blues' defense, which is why the rumors are intriguing. Although Alex is clearly nearing the back end of his most productive seasons, he still commands the box well and is under contract for two more seasons.

That hasn't stopped Juventus from making their interest known, however, according to the most recent article. Manager Andre Villas-Boas continues to brush the rumors aside and seems content with Alex in the middle of his defense.

The other name that has been mentioned over the past few days has been Raul Meireles. The 28-year-old central midfielder is currently caught behind several players in the rotation at Liverpool and could be in line for more playing time with the Blues.

The Meireles speculation heated up after an article from The Guardian that also discussed the anger of Nicolas Anelka. Meireles is a physical player that would bring his unorthodox style to Chelsea after falling out of favor with the Reds.

It would be interesting to see how he would fit in at Stamford Bridge. Although he seems likely a backup plan should the final offer for Modric fall short, he would provide some much needed depth in the midfield.