Father Christmas has unfortunately come and gone, which can only mean we’re a few days away from the official opening of the January transfer window.
We’ve not seen much action in the winter market over the last few years, but something tells me next month will buck the trend amid a Premier League season not quite like any other – where Leicester City are apparently a fixture in the title race.
Chelsea are particularly expected to find themselves rather busy in January, having slumped all the way down to 15th in the Premier League table and resultantly parted with iconic manager Jose Mourinho.
But the transfer rumour columns have never been the most reliable source of information, their tales seemingly getting taller the closer we get to the transfer window.
So hoping to dispel a few myths and provide a handful of truths, here’s Chelsea’s FIVE likeliest January transfers on both the inward and outward fronts.
Having been signed on deadline day as emergency cover and since gone on to make just one appearance in all competitions – a stoppage time substitute outing in the Capital One Cup – Senegal centre-back Papy Djilobodji’s short Chelsea tenure looks set to come to an end next month.
Indeed, Guus Hiddink is unlikely to promote the 27-year-old over John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma at the heart of the Blues’ defence and rumour has it the west London club will be on the lookout for another centre-back in January – but more on that in a moment.
Djilobodji has already been linked with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce and a loan move to Marseille until the end of the season – but his agent has insisted the summer signing is determined to fight for a place at Stamford Bridge.
Having seen three bids rejected by Everton during the summer, the last and most lucrative believed to worth around £38million, Chelsea are widely expected to return for John Stones in the coming transfer window.
The 21-year-old has rapidly emerged as one of the most exciting home-grown products on show in the Premier League since joining the Goodison ranks in January 2013, boasting unique agility and quality in possession for an English centre-half, and Chelsea require his services now more than ever, having conceded a whopping 29 goals already this season.
His arrival would certainly lift the mood at Stamford Bridge, whilst representing a long-term addition who could eventually succeed John Terry at the heart of the Blues’ struggling defence.
But Everton showed their resolve in the summer and appear determined to hold onto the England international until at least after Euro 2016 – where his lofty price-tag could further soar.
Recent reports have suggested Alex Teixeira’s move to Chelsea is now a mere formality, with the Shahktar star allegedly reaching a ‘verbal agreement‘ to join the west London club.
The Brazilian attacker is by no means an out-and-out striker but he would certainly aid the Blues’ efforts in front of goal, having netted 26 times in as many appearances for the Ukrainian outfit this season – including three goals in the Champions League’s group stages.
Of course, countless ‘done deals’ have never materialised before. But the 25-year-old first claimed Chelsea were looking to sign him way back in October and his form since can have only further convinced them of his quality. Likewise, Shahktar have made no secret of their £30million price-tag for the January transfer window.
Rumour has it Chelsea are on the lookout for another centre-forward and one of the names doing the rounds is West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino.
After netting 14 times in 38 Premier League appearances last season, the Burundi-born forward infamously came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur during the final weeks of the summer transfer window – leading to his infamous Twitter rant at Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace.
Spurs are widely expected to revive their interest but the bad blood between the two board rooms, as a result of the summer deal falling through, could stand in the way of a winter move.
But now into the final 18 months of his contract and having seemingly fallen afoul of Tony Pulis, who has issued the 22-year-old just eight league starts this season, West Brom need someone to sell to and recent reports claim Chelsea and Man United are both interested.
Home-grown, versatile, young and lethal in front of goal, Berahino seems like a worthwhile investment – albeit one that could set the Blues back around £24million.
Should Saido Berahino join the Stamford Bridge ranks in January, that could well spell the end of Loic Remy.
The France international hardly saw the light of day under Jose Mourinho, managing just one Premier League start before today’s round of fixtures, and will be desperate to secure regular first team football with Euro 2016 on his home soil just around the corner.
A number of clubs already appear to be targeting the 28-year-old. Swansea City have reportedly tabled a loan bid whilst St. Etienne boss Christophe Galter publicly declared his interest in the former Marseille forward last week.
The real question, however, is whether Chelsea will be prepared to let Remy leave. Radamel Falcao seems set to return to Monaco in January, Diego Costa is yet to rekindle the form of last season and Berahino will need some time to bed in.