Chelsea manager Graham Potter will be hoping to add a couple of his own signings to the side during the January transfer window, having inherited Thomas Tuchel’s team when he was appointed in September.
The club are going through a rough patch at the moment, failing to win any of their last five Premier League matches before the World Cup break and performances will need to improve if they have any ambitions of securing Champions League football next season.
Potter can bolster Chelsea’s attacking options by making a move for AC Milan winger Rafael Leao, with the club being linked recently with the 23-year-old.
Transfer insider Dean Jones believes Chelsea are still keen on the player. Speaking in an interview with Football FanCast regarding the club’s interest, he noted: “Leao is still somebody that they’ve got in their thoughts, there’s still interest in him.
“Obviously, he’s got a big buyout in his contract which would have to be considered, even if he doesn’t renew the contract, he won’t come cheap.”
Milan won’t consider a fee of less than €100m (£86m) according to Corriere Della Sera (via Sport Witness), something that could well prove to be a sticking point for Chelsea.
Leao has scored seven goals and registered nine assists in 20 matches this season for the Serie A side and this form has made him one of Portugal’s key players heading into the World Cup.
He was on the bench in their opening match against Ghana, however, once he joined the action in place of Ruben Neves, he was “sensational” – in the words of Andrew Gibney.
The 23-year-old scored his first goal for his country with a composed finish while having two dribble attempts and taking 17 touches, all while being an absolute handful for the Ghana defence.
He certainly deserves to start in their next match against Uruguay so he can display his talents from the start.
Theo Mwangi has previously dubbed the winger a “superstar” and if he made the move to Chelsea, he would be an instant hit with the supporters, with his trickery and speed giving Potter’s side an extra dimension going forward.
January might come too soon, although if he continues this fine World Cup form, it may even be too late, as a bigger team might come calling.