It’s now a case of when, rather than if, Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge and becomes a Chelsea player for a second time.
Jose Mourinho has recently sounded out his interest in the striker, making further attempts to address his misfiring forward line of last season. Drogba will add to Diego Costa, who has boosted Chelsea’s attacking department after his exceptional scoring season last term with Atletico Madrid.
But Chelsea may not be done, even after a handful of well-known signings this summer.
After Drogba, here are five players who could follow the Ivorian to Chelsea.
Sami Khedira may not be heading to Arsenal this summer, but the midfielder will certainly leave Real Madrid after the arrival of Toni Kroos.
Khedira’s wages became a problem for Arsenal, with the north London side said to be close to landing the German international. It has, however, opened the door for Chelsea to make a move and for Jose Mourinho to reunite with one of his most consistent performers while manager of Real Madrid.
After winning the World Cup with Germany, there should be a lot of interest in Khedira. His arrival at Chelsea would allow for Mourinho to move to his favoured 4-3-3 formation on a permanent basis – a formation that has been a success for the Portuguese wherever he’s managed in Europe.
Arturo Vidal recently commented that he wouldn’t be moving to Manchester United from Juventus this summer, but he didn’t rule out a move away from the Turin club for good.
Chelsea have been on the hunt for another midfield addition and the Chilean international would fit the bill. Vidal has struggled with injury in recent times, but when fit he’s one of the world’s best midfielders, able to work both ends of the pitch with equal measure.
It was said that United would have to pay around £40 million for the Juventus star, and that sort of figure is well within Chelsea’s means if they ever opt to move in for the midfielder.
Paul Pogba is said to have been on Chelsea’s radar of late and the club could still make a move for the French international. Antonio Conte’s departure from Juventus last week has thrown Pogba’s future into doubt.
But with Pogba being well on the way to becoming one of the best midfielders in the world, he’d be a great long-term investment for Chelsea, who aren’t exactly struggling in the midfield department after the recent signings of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas.
Pogba would ensure Chelsea have variation and depth, while also adding to a team who look the frontrunners for the Premier League title next season.
Ross Barkley has been interested Manchester City for much of the summer, but Chelsea were also said to be a possible destination for the Everton starlet.
The 20-year-old looks set to become one of the best players of his generation for England, and the interest from bigger clubs in the league is understandable.
He produced a string of outstanding performances for Roberto Martinez’s side last season, but Everton maintain it would take an astronomical fee to prise him from Goodison Park.
A fee, however, Chelsea may be capable of putting together.
Raphael Varane proved to be a favourite of Jose Mourinho during the coach’s tenure at Real Madrid, and now the Portuguese is said to be interested in bringing the young centre-back to Chelsea.
Varane has all the ability to become the bets centre-back in Europe over the next few years, with pace, strength and ability on the ball part of his makeup.
But Real are unlikely to want to let go of their young starlet for a number of reasons, one being the age of Pepe, at 31.
But you never know with Florentino Perez’s Real Madrid. If the president takes his fancy to another centre-back in the near future, he may well let Varane go, though not before insisting on a sizeable fee.