Chelsea Transfer News: Javier Pastore and Yevhen Konoplyanka Rumours Emerge

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2015

PSG's Javier Pastore celebrates after scoring during his French League One soccer match against Guingamp, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly lining up a January move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore as he looks to strengthen his underperforming squad. 

According to Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Rhys Turrell in the Daily Star), "a potential loan deal [is] in the offing" for Pastore, with the Portuguese manager needing to add firepower to his attack.

Argentinian Pastore may well be open to a move, as he is not a guaranteed starter at PSG under Laurent Blanc—he has started only six of their 10 Ligue 1 games this season, per WhoScored.com.

Chelsea's coach Jose Mourinho looks on during a press conference at Olimpisky Stadium in Kiev on October 19, 2015, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League, Group G, football match between FC Dinamo FC and Chelsea FC.  AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY        (P

The summer arrival of Angel Di Maria at the Parc des Princes has forced Pastore to play out of position much of the time, mostly in a deeper midfield role than he prefers.

However, the attacking positions are up for grabs at Chelsea at the moment, with even star man Eden Hazard having been dropped to the bench on Saturday against Aston Villa, the Blues' third Premier League win of the season.

A horrendous start to the 2015-16 campaign for the defending league champions has left Mourinho fearing for his job, per Bleacher Report's Andy Brassell:

While the defeat of Villa will have lifted the pressure on Mourinho slightly, he needs to manufacture a vast improvement in his side if they are to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.

He needs to bring in added depth in January, and Pastore could be an ideal addition, even if only on a short-term loan deal.

As well as adding terrific creativity and penetration—surprisingly lacking at Chelsea so far this season—the 26-year-old could also provide competition for out-of-form duo Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic in central midfield.

However, it will be a hard deal for Chelsea to pull off. Pastore recently signed an extension to his contract at PSG, tying him to the club until 2019, and Bleacher Report's Jonathan Johnson does not foresee him moving away from the Ligue 1 champions anytime soon. 

Sevilla's new player Ukrainian midfielder Yevhen Konoplyanka plays with a ball as he poses during his presentation at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on July 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER        (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/A

An alternative attacking target could be Sevilla's Yevhen Konoplyanka, according to Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu.

Konoplyanka switched from Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to Sevilla in the summer.

But Lucescu has suggested that Mourinho was scouting the 26-year-old when he watched him play for Ukraine against Spain last week, per Sky Sports: "Mourinho is interested in Yevhen Konoplyanka. I was at Ukraine versus Spain with Mourinho and he is interested in some players. Perhaps it is [Andriy] Yarmolenko or [Alex] Teixeira, if not, then it is Konoplyanka."

As a naturally left-sided forward, Konoplyanka would provide direct competition for Hazard. However, he is versatile, with the ability to play across the front three, and thus could be a valuable purchase.

He snubbed a move to the Premier League in the summer, though, and he previously admitted his belief that he made the right choice, per the Guardian.

Even if Mourinho does not go in for him in January and waits until next summer, it is unlikely Konoplyanka would want to leave Sevilla after only a year.

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