Chelsea transfers: Five players Jose Mourinho could sign in January
Chelsea transfers: Ben Barker takes a look at five players that the Blues could sign in the January transfer window
The versatile midfielder has been the focus of an intense rumour mill, with many reports suggesting that a deal between Inter Milan and Chelsea has already been agreed. The player himself has expressed his happiness in Italy, but there’s no doubting Fredy Guarin’s talent and the ease with which he’d fit into the Blues midfield. Guarin made his name as an industrious midfield anchor at Porto, where his brawling style and tough frame made him a formidable opponent. However, since moving to Inter in January 2012, the Colombian has found himself in an advanced midfield role, often sitting just behind the striker, but hovering around the edge of the box instead of bombing forward to join the attack. While Chelsea are overloaded with attacking talent, Guarin offers a variety of player that the Blues haven’t had since Claude Makelele, in the mould of Michael Essien of old.
Seen as the perfect replacement for Ashley Cole, Luke Shaw has excelled for Southampton since making his debut for the club almost two years ago at the age of 16. Shaw has been integral to the Saints’ excellent start to the season, and as an attacking full-back has provided many assists for his team-mates. Lightning pace and an eye for a cross makes him an attractive proposition for Chelsea, who in recent weeks have dropped the ageing Cole for the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta. A left-footed long-term replacement is needed however, and with young Shaw a self-confessed Chelsea fan (and former development player), Southampton’s resolve could be tested in January with a big money offer. Ryan Bertrand could act as a makeweight in the deal.
One of Europe’s most prolific strikers this season, the Atletico Madrid attacker could be the answer to Chelsea’s less than impressive goal return from their frontmen. The Brazilian-turned-Spaniard has scored 19 goals in 17 La Liga games and has led the line for Atletico following Radamel Falcao’s departure in the summer. Tall, strong and quick, Diego Costa wouldn’t face much competition for a starting spot, with Chelsea’s current trio of strikers somewhat profligate, notching just six goals between them. Atletico would be reluctant to sell midseason, having seen the likes of Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Falcao leave in recent years, though a part-exchange deal with Chelsea for on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtouis has been mooted.
Another winger, as if Chelsea needed any more. Lazar Markovic is having a stellar season at Benfica, but with the club strapped for cash and having crashed out of the Champions League, the Portuguese side could be open to sizeable offers for their star man. If Chelsea decide to gamble on the Serbian in January, it seems likely that he’ll remain on loan for the rest of the season and possibly a further one to get game-time and gain experience.
A rumoured summer target for the London side amongst other top European teams, Falcao surprised many when he moved to super-rich Monaco from Atletico Madrid for £52m. Despite being the club’s marquee signing, the Columbian has found life in Ligue 1 tough, often cutting a peripheral figure. Still, with nine goals from 15 games Falcao has helped his side to second place in the table, just three points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain. The attraction for Chelsea comes in Falcao’s eligibility for the knockout stages of the Champions League, but the Blues will have to fork out serious money if their interest in the 27 year old is as strong as reports suggest, though the player himself may be reluctant to renege on his contract just six months in.