Chelsea FC: Top 11 Prospects for the January Transfer Window
Chelsea have had a run of up-and-down form all season under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. Despite the club having managed to advance to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League this week and maintain a top-five spot in the league, there are still whispers that he is in the hot seat.
Having spent an exorbitant amount of money and effort to get the Portuguese manager to Stamford Bridge from Portugal's FC Porto, it is unlikely that Roman Abramovich will be getting rid of him until at least the end of the season if he does not work out.
As the club already knows that both Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka are headed out the door in the summer, there is going to be a need for additional firepower up front. Fernando Torres has hardly worked for the club as AVB's system looks to just not fit with the already form-frustrated striker's skill set.
A possible sale of Torres in January or the summer could help recoup at least some of his massive fee in order to put that money into additional player under the new regime.
Top players from around the world have been linked with the club, and the growing anticipation of the winter transfer window is just around the corner as we look at the top names associated with Chelsea in recent weeks.
The most recent rumor involving Bolton Wanderers center half Gary Cahill moving to Stamford Bridge has the Blues dangling the possibility of young midfield starlet, Josh McEachran, headed in the opposite direction on loan.
Bolton took Daniel Sturridge on loan for the last half of 2010-11, and look how he has performed since his return. Owen Coyle has a habit of turning young loan stars good and might just have the chance to earn from transfer funds, plus have the use of McEachran while Stuart Holden continues to recover.
Olympique Marseille forward Andre Ayew has been linked with a move to either Chelsea or Bayern Munich from his current French coast club.
The Blues are believed to have a tough test to outbid the Bavarians but could splash the cash to land the highly sought-after young attacker from the same club that they once prised Didier Drogba from years ago.
The Blues chased him prior to Real Madrid signing him and now that he is on the fringes of Jose Mourinho's favor, he could make a move to the manager's former English club.
Chelsea could be looking at a costly £20 million purchase of Everton sensation Ross Barkley and then complete an Italian style loan back to Everton until the Blues want to bring him up to their first-team squad.
Manchester United looked to be closing in on a possible move for the player in the early fall, but that has since seemed to disappear as a possibility.
With the Blues having multiple players rumored to be wanted by the Old Lady, it is almost certain a deal could be worked out for the swap-plus-cash deal.
FC Porto defender Rolando could be set for a reunion with his old boss, according to Caughtoffside, as Andre Villas-Boas is desperate to solidify his back line for the foreseeable future.
It would make another Porto player that could be reunited with AVB after he reacquired Raul Meireles from Liverpool at the end of the summer transfer window in August.
Croatian and Tottenham midfield maestro Luka Modric has been on the Blues radar since the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas in the summer and continues to be strongly linked with the London-based club.
However, the most recent rumors from The Daily Mirror have shocked even myself, as a Liverpool fan, that the Blues would possibly use club legend Frank Lampard as a makeweight to Spurs for the acquisition of Modric.
Serbian midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic of VfB Stuttgart is the latest midfielder that has been linked to Chelsea as the growing belief that Luka Modric is still a long shot continues to mount.
The £19 million rated playmaker could be the stop gap that the Blues need to fill their playmaking role for the future. In only two seasons in Germany he has already scored 14 goals and made over 70 appearances for Stuttgart.
Fiorentina wide attacker Stevan Jovetic is another attacking option that is on the Blues wish list as they prepare for what is likely a busy January. Having not made many moves in the summer as Andre Villas-Boas evaluated his available players, he now will likely add and sell, according to his future plans.
The addition of Jovetic is thought to be a possible page from this planning book, and the Montenegrin would be available from Fiorentina for the right price it is almost certain.
Bayern Munich midfielder Danijel Pranjic is thought to be a key target for Chelsea and manager Andre Villas-Boas this January.
With Michael Essien out for the remainder of the season and John Obi Mikel being a less-than-capable holding midfielder, the Blues are in need of a new defensive stalwart in the center of the park to hold up play with class.
The Bavarian-based Croatian has been a fringe player at Bayern but has remained a regular in his national side, and the 30-year-old could be a solid part of AVB's new Blues if he arrives in January.