Chelsea transfer window: The forward is a priority… and there may be exits

It’s time chelsea He made an important signing again in January. The winter window is often derided as reserved for desperate clubs, and Chelsea have been fairly quiet in recent years.

Go further back though and they have proven that good business can be done. Influential players like Nicolás Anelka, branislav ivanovicDavid Luiz (the first time), Gary Cahill, Nemanja Matic (the second time) and Olivier Giroud they were bought on these short, cold mid-season days.

The club have already started making moves to acquire some young talent with the future in mind but, in their second transfer window, the new regime could acquire a person of similar quality and character to the names listed above to fuel an upgrade in the results. .

How likely is that? the athletic check out

How much did Chelsea spend in the last three January windows?

2020: €0

2021: €0

2022: £1.6 million ($2 million)

How much money is likely to be available this month?

Chelsea spent over £250m, a Premier League record, on new players last summer, but that won’t stop them from pulling out the checkbook again four months later. The club’s new co-owners are determined to keep spending to try and make Chelsea more competitive in the three competitions they are still in.

The Todd Boehly-Clearlake consortium wants Chelsea to secure a top-four finish and thus qualify for next season. Champions League. They are currently in eighth grade and are struggling to fulfill that ambition. The club is also looking to improve the youth team.

The amount of money they will use obviously depends on the players they can attract. The complication is that they are also planning an ambitious recruiting drive for the summer. Despite the confidence in meeting financial fair play requirements, they clearly cannot use their entire budget during January.

The other factor in the equation is the split between the funds they are using to invest in the teenagers and what is being reserved for those who can now make the first team.

Who makes the key transfer decisions?

This is what will be so exciting at Chelsea, because they have made some key signings in recent months to help implement a more cohesive transfer strategy.

Co-owners Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and José Feliciano took matters into their own hands in the latest window, with academy director Neil Bath, who has since been promoted to director of football development and operations, providing some advice.

Todd Boehley

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly pictured in October (Photo: Clive Rose via Getty Images)

Chelsea have since signed Christopher Vivell (technical director), Paul Winstanley (transfer and global talent director), Kyle Macauley (recruitment), Joe Shields (who will become co-director of talent and recruiting after the end of his gardening leave from Southampton). ) and Laurence Stewart (the technical director, to focus on soccer globally, once he finishes his role at Monaco). Graham Potter, who replaced Thomas Tuchel as head coach in September, will also be involved.

The intention is for Chelsea to have a collaborative approach, so that everyone can have a say.

Since they are all new to their jobs, we don’t yet know how well they will mesh, nor how much control the co-owners will lose after having so much influence before.

January will provide the first test of the new structure.

What position is the priority?

A striker and a center back. This was the case even before Armando Broja he suffered a knee injury in early December that rules him out for the remainder of the season, but losing him has made the situation even more pressing.

Chelsea have already reached an agreement with RB Leipzig to sign France striker Christopher Nkunku for the summer but, as explained above, the club recognize the importance of strengthening their ranks now.

With Broja gone, they only have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Y Kai Havertz as options to lead the line. Neither has looked convincing so far this season.

Aubameyang, who joined from Barcelona on deadline day in September, you have scored just one Premier league goal so far and three overall. Havertz managed four goals between August and November.

like my colleague David Ornstein reportedthe club is prioritizing Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile at center half, a talented young defender who can play on the left side of a three-man defence.

Chelsea had been in advanced talks with RB Leipzig to yes guardiol during the previous window but a price could not be agreed upon. They wanted to resume talks in the new yearbut Badiashile has jumped to the front of the queue.

Dice N’Golo Kante – The best of N’Golo Kante He is not expected to return from a hamstring injury until March, another midfielder is also a possibility while the club are already looking at who could operate as a substitute for reece james on the right side. They are also in the market looking for a new goalkeeper.

Who are the plausible targets?

Chelsea want to build a team full of young players, ideally under 25 years of ageso the desire is to find a striker who can play for several years rather than another veteran in the 33-year-old Aubameyang mold.

They are already in advanced talks for Norwegian club Molde’s Ivory Coast international David Datro Fofana, but at 19, he is still very raw and unlikely ready to make the kind of impact the first team requires of him. righ now. Likewise, they have shown intent in pursuing Borussia DortmundThe 18-year-old German striker Youssoufa Moukoko.

Having missed Endrick for Real Madridnow they are looking at another Brazilian star in 17-year-old Vitor Roque, who plays for Athletico Paranaense.

Youssoufa Moukoko

Youssoufa Moukoko playing for Germany at the World Cup (Photo: Alexander Hassenstein via Getty Images)

As for more prominent names, Chelsea have been admirers of Raphael Leo since the summer and I was able to see him up close in the two Champions League group stage games this season against AC Milan. The 23-year-old’s contract expires in 2024 and so far there are no signs that he will sign an extension. Your partner from Portugal joao felix, also 23 years old, is unstable at Atlético de Madrid. It won’t be cheap either.

If they decide to go with an older, less expensive option anyway, it won’t cost much to get Memphis Depay out of Barcelona, ​​given he only has six months left on his contract.

As for the midfield, Chelsea are admirers of Jude Bellingham Y Declan Rice. Any attempt to get them will have to wait until summer. Chelsea had a £43m offer for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez turned down four months agobut he intended to try again in January.

Significantly, they are in advanced talks with Vasco da Gama of Brazil by Andrey Santos, 18, as well as having the option to finalize Arsen Zakharyan’s £12.6m trade from Dynamo Moscow, having agreed terms in the summer. This transfer is complicated by the sanctions imposed by fifa and UEFA prevents Russian players from joining other clubs.

Who could get out?

No doubt Chelsea could do with bringing in some money through sales to help their accounts. They made just over £50m from outings in the summer, which only makes a small dent in their spending.

So who fits in now? This could be a good time to cash in on two high-profile players who have been increasingly unhappy with their roles at Chelsea: Christian Pulisic Y Judge Ziyech. They have started just four Premier League games between them this season, so they are very much on the periphery.

However, Chelsea now find themselves in a win-win situation. Both players showed good form in the World cup for the USA and Morocco respectively, which could encourage Potter to use them more often or attract offers from other clubs.

Ziyech, who will have just two years left on his contract at the end of this season, is liked by AC Milan, who are considering making a loan offer that includes a purchase option. That’s not ideal, but it could help with any discussion of Leao. His former club, Ajax, may reconsider getting him back, after trying in the summer.

Pulisic’s case is more pressing for Chelsea because he only has 18 months left on his contract. manchester united Y Newcastle United stay connected to it.

Which World Cup star would be perfect for your club?

kylian mbappebut that is the stuff of fantasy.

A bit more within reach, but not without difficulty as they face stiff competition, is Dortmund’s Bellingham. The 19-year-old is exactly what Chelsea need to make their midfield more feared again and, at his young age, he could make a difference for several years.

(Top photos: Youssoufa Moukoko, Rafael Leao and Josko Gvardiol; Getty Images)

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