Amid the links with Gerard Pique in recent days one thing has become clear… Chelsea are beginning to think about life beyond John Terry. Love or hate the Blues captain (most sit in the latter camp) there’s no doubting the soon to be 34-year-old has been a great servant to the London club.
Three league titles, five FA Cups, the Europa League and Champions League all sit in his honours list, with the centre-back firmly etched into the club’s history books. But with his years advancing, it’s unlikely that ‘Big JT’ will be around for much longer, which means that the Stamford Bridge outfit must be thinking about what to do when he is no longer able to play week in, week out.
Here are FIVE options for Chelsea…
Rumours suggest Pique is the man at the very top of Jose Mourinho’s list, with the Spaniard matching the ‘Special One’s’ criteria. Commanding, pacey and good on the ball, the Barcelona star appears to be the full package, and with reports suggesting that the Catalans are ready to sell for around £20m, he fits into the Blues more sensible spending plans.
Through his career his been a part of Barca’s often frugal defensive unit, and his statistics (above) show that he contributes well in every area.
Chelsea could resist the urge to dip into the transfer market, with Zouma an option much closer to home. The young Frenchman made his long awaited move to Stamford Bridge proper over the summer after a loan spell back at Saint Etienne following the January deal for his signature, and has, so far, dipped in and out of the first-team.
By no means the finished article, the 20-year-old – albeit by just a few days – is powerful, pacey and boasts a fiery streak, giving him all of the ingredients to be a ‘Mourinho defender’.
Varane looks to be the player Mourinho wants above all other after working with him at Real Madrid. The Frenchman is currently being hailed as one of the very best young centre-backs around and is already considered to be an important player at the Bernabeu – the current home of the Champions League trophy.
Since moving to Real, the 21-year-old has been by no means a guaranteed starter, yet he boasts impressive numbers for pass completion and looks to have a sensible edge due to a lack of bookings and no red cards.
Inter Milan’s current captain was a player linked with Chelsea over the summer. The giant defender is thought to be a player Mourinho is keen on, with his large frame and reading of the game having made him one of Serie A’s more imposing enforcers.
Although Jose’s relationship with Inter – whom he managed to Champions League victory – is thought to be frosty, the lack of cash in Italian football could render the San Siro side unable to resist a decent offer.
Chelsea are rumoured to have been watching the now Valencia defender for much of the past few years after being impressed by his showings in Porto’s impressive recent seasons. The Argentine is very much a no nonsense defender, combining athleticism with strength and composure, which hints that he could be a success in English football.
The 26-year-old has only been at Valencia a short while, but he could be tempted by life at Stamford Bridge by next summer, with Los Che unlikely to be able to compete at the very top of La Liga.