Despite the recent goal-scoring run of Fernando Torres, it still appears likely that Chelsea will recruit a striker in the January transfer window. With a deal to take Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool all but finalized, Rafael Benitez is left with Torres as his only established option to lead the line.
At the start of the season, owner Roman Abramovich reportedly gave Torres assurances that another big name front man would not be signed this season. Benitez, though, has claimed that the Spaniard—who has scored six goals in his last seven appearances—has no problem with competition, although finding the right player in midseason will not be easy.
“The problem in January is which one,” Benítez said, according to the Daily Telegraph. “Which player is available and which one is good enough to be here in a top side. It is not easy, but we will be positive about this and Fernando is ready to fight for his position. He is now enjoying is football.”
One player who may not be available next month is the man thought to be Chelsea’s main target: Radamel Falcao. The Colombian has a €60 million (£49m) release clause in his contract and it has been reported that Abramovich would be willing to pay that fee in full.
However, according to the Telegraph, it is unlikely that Falcao will leave in January. The report does, though, state that the 26-year-old looks set to join either Real Madrid or Chelsea next summer.
Chelsea are thought to be considering other options, with Demba Ba and Gonzalo Higuain also on their radar. Ba would be a fairly inexpensive option as the Newcastle striker has a buyout clause of just £7 million.
It is sure to cost significantly more than that to prize Gonzalo Higuain away from Real Madrid. The Argentina international, sidelined since the beginning of November through injury, has been forced to split time with Karim Benzema in the past 18 months.
Perhaps the likeliest option is for Chelsea to finally complete their long pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle. The Blues had a bid rejected for the Germany international in the summer, but remain interested, according to the Telegraph.
Schurrle, 22, has played the majority of his career on the left side of attack, although he has also been deployed through the middle on occasion. His versatility may appeal to Benitez.
With continued speculation that Ashley Cole will be allowed to leave next summer when his current contract expires, the Daily Mirror claims that Chelsea are interested in Tottenham left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The 28-year-old Cameroonian has been a consistent performer for Spurs in recent seasons, but has missed the majority of this campaign through injury. The Mirror reports that Chelsea will try to secure Assou-Ekotto for £5 million.
The player has claimed that he knows nothing of a potential move.
"I have a contract until 2015 with Spurs and I do not know if they want to sell me, so for me it is paper talk,” he told Sky Sports.