Chelsea were the only one of the Premier League’s top clubs to address one of their major deficiencies in the January transfer window.
It reflected bad long-time planning to spend €25 million (£20.7m) on a player who they cast aside just three years ago, but Nemanja Matic offers Chelsea a much-needed focal point in central midfield. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma were also signed to provide promising options for the future. But, as Jose Mourinho repeatedly insisted upon, Chelsea did not move to sign in the top level striker that the squad lacks. That and other issues will surely be the focus of Chelsea’s attention when the transfer window reopens in the summer. Here are four players Chelsea may well target:
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
Costa’s aggression and physical attributes look to be perfect for a Mourinho side. Despite strong speculation linking Chelsea with a move for Costa in January, there was never any realistic chance that he would abandon Atletico’s fine season at the midway point. It could well be a different story in the summer, though. Having scored 20 goals in 22 appearances in La Liga this season and with the Brazilian-born striker set to represent Spain in the World Cup, he will surely be in much demand. Yet, Chelsea could have a key bargaining chip with Atletico known to be keen to sign on-loan Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Cortois on a permanent basis.
Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
The Colombian has been linked with Chelsea since the days when he was partnered Diego Costa at Atletico Madrid. There was plenty of surprise when Falcao moved to Monaco rather than Stamford Bridge last summer, but it remains to be seen whether it was just a temporary stopping off point. He is sure to have a few clubs inquiring about his availability again in the summer. After being ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury, the chance to return to a major European League could prove tempting for the 27-year-old, whose predatory instincts would add much to the Chelsea side.
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)
In similar vein to Falcao, a few heads were turned when, despite interest from Spain and England, Cavani wound up in France. It is hard to judge the veracity of reports suggesting that the Uruguayan is already frustrated by the lack of depth in quality in Ligue 1, but it would be a situation worth exploring for Chelsea. His goals have not dried up at PSG, but he has again displayed his willingness to put the team first -- a quality which Mourinho relishes in his players.
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
The signs do not look good for Ashley Cole earning a new contract, having been displaced in the side by right-back Cesar Azpilicueta this season. While Azpilicueta has done a more than serviceable job, if Cole does leave then Chelsea will surely be looking to recruit a naturally left-sided replacement. If reports are to be believed that man will be Southampton’s highly rated 18-year-old. All the signs are there that Shaw, who combines both defensive acumen and a forward threat, will at some stage replace Cole in the England team and stick around for a long time. A Chelsea supporter, he could well do the same at Stamford Bridge.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.