Following the most diabolical campaign of Roman Abramovich’s reign over Stamford Bridge, the coming transfer window could be one of the biggest in Chelsea’s history and remains surrounded in mystery.
Indeed, it seems inevitable some players will eventually be made an example of for the Blues’ abysmal Premier League title defence, whilst some could push for a move away in search of Champions League football.
At the same time, the west Londoners are welcoming a new manager in Antonio Conte who will want to bring in signings of his own choosing in a bid to stamp his philosophy on the Chelsea squad.
Therefore, rumours linking Chelsea with potential additions for the summer transfer window are hardly in short supply. In fact, there’s been so many in recent weeks that we’ve been able to draw up a select Xi composed entirely of rumoured transfer targets.
This transfer target Xi would set the Blues back a whopping £444million according to tabloid valuations – not that we’re expecting the west London clubs to snap up all of them this summer.
Amid sudden doubts over Thibault Courtois’ future as Chelsea’s No.1, monolithic shot-stopper Fraser Forster has been mooted as a potential replacement. There are still mistakes in the 6 foot 7 England international’s game but he’s continually impressed since signing for Southampton in summer 2014, last season notching up 60 saves and 13 clean sheets in 30 appearances. Under contract until 2018, The Sun believe the 28-year-old will set Chelsea back around £20million.
Chelsea saw a succession of bids for the Everton prodigy turned down last summer and although his ball-playing enthusiasm has come under heavy criticism this season, he remains one of the most exciting youngsters in the Premier League – boasting rare agility and skill for an English centre-half. There’s a chance Antonio Conte may not sustain his predecessor’s interest but the Blues heirarchy clearly rate the £50million-valued 21-year-old highly.
An old ally from Antonio Conte’s Juventus days, Leonardo Bonucci has lifted five Serie A titles throughout his tenure as part of the Old Lady’s iconic three-man defence. The 29-year-old has been tipped as an experienced successor to John Terry and his £25million valuation is certainly affordable.
Another Serie A defender reportedly on Chelsea’s radar, a number of Premier League clubs have been linked with Kostas Manolas following another strong campaign at the heart of Roma’s defence. Giallorossi are reportedly demanding around £35million for their star centre-back but still just 24 years of age, the Greek international could prove to be a wise long-term investment.
N’Golo Kante was one of the real driving forces behind Leicester City’s Premier League title, offering dynamism on the counter-attack whilst averaging the most tackles and most interceptions per match of any player in the division this season. Inevitably, interest is high in the France international ahead of the summer transfer window with Chelsea mooted as potential suitors. And rumour has it the King Power Stadium contract the 25-year-old signed last summer includes a £20million release clause.
With Dortmund failing to extend Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s contract beyond the end of next season, Chelsea are reportedly looking to take the goalscoring midfielder off the Bundesliga outfit’s hands. The Armenian international has netted 23 times in 49 appearances across all competitions this term, alongside umpteen assists, and talkSPORT have valued him at around £23million – but also document interest from Arsenal.
Chelsea are firmly on Radja Nainggolan’s heels ahead of the summer window, with some sources claiming they’ve already seen a bid rejected for the Roma star. Famed for his box-to-box energy, combining final third contribution with tenacity off the ball, the Belgium midfielder represents exactly what the Blues lack in the engine room. Determined to seal a big fee, Giallorossi are reportedly demanding £32million.
If we’re talking dream scenarios, Chelsea transfer targets don’t get much dreamier than Paul Pogba. Indeed, the Blues have been continuously linked with the France international amid his transformation into arguably the top central midfielder in world football, blending ranging physicality with technical trickery and an abundance of netting prowess. Chelsea will struggle to sign the 23-year-old without the incentive of Champions League football but Antonio Conte’s presence gives them half a chance of signing the Juventus star – who agent Mino Raiola claims will command a £78million transfer fee.
Another long-term target for the west London club, Antoine Griezmann is never far from a mention in Chelsea’s transfer rumour columns. The versatile attacker made his name as Real Sociedad’s talismanic winger but has flourished as a striker since signing for Atletico Madrid at the start of last season, going on to bag 56 goals in 104 appearances across all competitions. The France international’s contract includes a £63million release clause, but Atletico are determined to raise it.
Having established himself as one of the top strikers in the Premier League since switching to Everton (initially on loan) in summer 2013, going on to net 43 times in 99 top-flight outings, Chelsea are reportedly keen to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. The Belgium international certainly has unfinished business in west London and although he may set the Blues back as much as £60million, he could still eventually prove good value for money at just 23 years of age.
According to AS, Chelsea are already in advanced talks to sign Gonzalo Higuain this summer in case Diego Costa forces a much speculated return to Atletico Madrid. The Napoli striker is a goal machine of the highest order, netting 88 in 148 appearances since signing for the Italian club from Real Madrid back in summer 2013. Antonio Conte appears to be a huge fan of the 28-year-old, who is expected to cost the Blues around £38million.