Where to start with Chelsea? The champions have struggled through a nightmare defence of the Premier League crown they won at a canter last season, as a host of big name stars have been linked with moves away.
Amid suggestions of a dressing room bust up, January could become a big month at Stamford Bridge. Any retention of their title looks to be a lost cause, though it’s hard to truly write them off as potential top four contenders.
Despite manager Jose Mourinho’s insistence that he will not ask the club to fund a winter spending spree, the West London outfit continue to be linked with the biggest names ahead of the window once again opening for business next month.
Perhaps the controversial Portuguese tactician will get the funds that were not afforded to him in the summer as the Blues look to plot an audacious assault on the top order. Perhaps not.
Either way, no Champions League football at the Bridge, under Mourinho, is unthinkable. Right?
With that in mind, here are three potential arrivals at Chelsea and three potential departures…
Not quite the fresh, exciting name many fans would be hoping for this winter, but the Togolese forward is reportedly under serious consideration by the club. A free agent since leaving Tottenham at the start of the season, the 31-year is said to be a short-term target for Mourinho.
The pair enjoyed a good relationship together during their brief stint at Real Madrid, and Adebayor is a proven goal scorer in the Premier League. Whether or not he’s the most suitable name to launch a new Chelsea project off of is not the point, he would surely be an improvement on the likes of Radamel Falcao.
Diego Costa, is of course, superior to the former Arsenal man but only when he’s scoring. Currently the controversial Spaniard isn’t even doing that. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to turn our noses up at the prospect of Chelsea signing Emmanuel Adebayor.
In light of the dramatic dip in form seen in Branislav Ivanovic over recent months, the Blues could do with a new marauding full-back. Reports suggest that attentions could be turned to Benfica star Nelson Semedo after the 22-year old established himself as a key player with the Portuguese giants.
Despite recently undergoing knee surgery, the full-back could be a wise long-term option. As Ivanovic enters the closing months of his deal, securing the services of one Europe’s hottest properties while the Serb sees out his days is excellent long term planning.
As Mourinho looks to sculpt a new team to rise from the ashes of this season’s burnout, he could do a lot worse than moving for his countryman this winter.
Another surprise name, but former Blackburn Rovers youngster Nikola Kalinic has gone from strength to strength since leaving Ewood Park.
Now at Fiorentina, the 27-year old has been prolific in Serie A trailing only Gonzalo Higuain in the scoring charts.
Mooted as a potential target, he has been in glittering form for the Viola since joining and could prove an excellent stop gap for Mourinho.
Bigger names may be hard to come by in January, and the Croatian international is both hard working and lethal in front of goal – two things Costa currently isn’t providing.
Where Costa’s plummeting stock has been somewhat of a surprise, it’s hard to say Radamel Falcao’s similar plight was something out of left field. The Colombian has been woeful since joining on loan from Monaco, just like he was Manchester United last term.
It’s not for the want of trying, it just seems the injury he suffered while with the French outfit has had a lasting effect on the 29-year old. Falcao is a shadow of his former self and his loan is reportedly set to be cut short six months premature.
La Liga side Valencia are understood to have made enquiries for the man who has scored just once all season for the Blues.
Another youngster who could leave the Bridge due to a dearth in first-team opportunities is talented midfielder Charly Musonda.
The talented Belgian attacking midfielder could follow compatriot Kevin De Bruyne out the door due to a lack of game time, and just look how far the Manchester City midfielder has come since leaving for pastures new.
Reports suggest the gifted teenager is not overly confident of breaching the first-team and has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal as a result.
It could be a major blow for Chelsea, who have seen the likes of De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Daniel Sturridge impress at other clubs after becoming frustrated with the Blues.
As predicted, deadline arrival Papy Djilobodji has barely featured for Mourinho at all. The Senegalese international has appeared just once all season since arriving from Nantes in September and will reportedly be allowed to leave.
The ‘Special One’ even admitted the 26-year old was not his target earlier this season, so it’s hard to believe he has much of a future at the club.
Serie A outfit Lazio are understood to be monitoring his situation in London, with a view on taking him on loan this January.