There is increasing speculation that Chelsea are poised to make a January move for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The Belgium midfielder recently claimed that this could be his last season at Goodison Park and that he could even leave when the next transfer window opens in January.
Fellaini has long been linked with a move to Chelsea and the Daily Mail now claims that the Blues could be readying a £30 million offer. Chelsea would appear to be light in central midfield following the departures last month of Michael Essien and Raul Meireles.
John Mikel Obi and Frank Lampard have been Roberto Di Matteo's first-choice central midfield pair this season, although there are still doubts about the former's ability at the top level while the latter is now 34. Fellaini could well be seen as the man to provide a strong physical presence behind the creative talent of the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar.
According to Goal.com's sources, Chelsea monitored Fellaini throughout the summer, but were told that he would remain at Everton until at least January.
Everton boss David Moyes has not ruled out the possibility of Fellaini leaving, although has insisted that he won't be going on the cheap.
"I have got no problem if other clubs start circling for my players," he said, according to the Daily Mirror. "None at all.
"What I do know is that they can't come in and take any of my players until January and we are only in September.
"Whatever happens now, whatever Fellaini says, he is here for at least the next four months.
"He might be here even longer than that, I don't know.
"What I do know for certain, though, is that Fellaini has got a five-year contract here.
"So clubs can circle, but the window has just shut, and we're in a strong position as far as his contract is concerned."
Chelsea have also been linked with a January move for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente. The Spain international has less than a year remaining on his contract and was strongly linked with a move to Juventus in the summer, but Athletic have refused to negotiate from the player's €35 million (£28m) buyout clause.
But with negotiations between player and club becoming public, the Athletic fans have turned against Llorente. Indeed the 27-year-old only made his first appearance of the season on Sunday, coming off the bench to grab an immediate goal against Espanyol.
With Chelsea as well as Manchester City also circling, according to the Daily Mirror, Llorente has said that his future remains uncertain.
"I cannot guarantee that I will still be with Athletic in 2013. In January I'm free to talk and I will consider all my options," Llorente said.
"I had some interesting offers in the summer, but each time Athletic referred them to my release clause."
Chelsea are short of options in attack, with just Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge as established options for Di Matteo. With Torres still not firing on all cylinders, the Blues have also been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
Another forward mentioned in connection with a move to Stamford Bridge in recent days is Portugal international Nelson Oliveira. The 21-year-old appeared at Euro 2012 despite not being a regular at Benfica last season. Still highly rated in his homeland, Oliveira has moved on-loan to La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna for this campaign and has already scored twice.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea and Manchester City are heading the race to sign Oliveira, while Barcelona are also said to be interested.