Chelsea are set to bid in excess of £20 million during the January transfer window tolure Marouane Fellaini away from Everton, according to the London Evening Standard.
Chelsea currently look undermanned in midfield after Michael Essien was allowed to go on a season-long loan to Real Madrid and Oriol Romeu recently suffered a season-ending injury. There have also been reports that Frank Lampard could be allowed to leave even before his contract expires next summer.
According to the story, Fellaini is Chelsea’s priority to strengthen that crucial area of the lineup. Since joining from Standard Liege in 2008, the powerful 25-year-old has played in a defensive midfield position as well as in a more attacking role in support of a striker. His abilities are also said to have caught the eye of Arsenal.
On Saturday the Belgium international was involved in several altercations with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross and as a result was banned for three games. Fellaini was also later criticized by his manager David Moyes and the Guardian suggested that the incident could hasten his exit from Goodison Park.
Another midfielder linked to the Blues in recent days is Roma’s Miralem Pjanic. The talented 22-year-old has been talked about as a potential replacement for Lampard. Despite speaking effusively about Chelsea, the Bosnian has played down the speculation.
“I am flattered to be linked with a team such as Chelsea, a European Cup winner, but I have a contract here at Roma,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
"Could I replace Frank Lampard? He is a legend there. He has done so much for the club and I hope to achieve such feats myself one day."
Also discussing talk of interest from Chelsea has been Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis. The 27-year-old has scored 10 league goals so far this season and has been reported as a January target for both Chelsea and Liverpool.
Lyon currently sit in second place in Ligue 1, level on points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain, and it is unlikely that they would want to see their leading front man leave in midseason. However, Gomis has said that he is open to all possibilities.
"I'm happy, but if it is for my interest, and the three parties are OK and I can progress, then yes. The interest is flattering," Gomis told Canal+.
"These are big names [Liverpool and Chelsea]. But I do not pollute my mind with the idea of a departure. Anything can go very quickly in football."
In other Chelsea news, the Sun has claimed that Barcelona are interested in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Signed from Genk for £8 million in the summer of 2011, the Belgium international is currently spending his second season on loan at Atletico Madrid.
The 20-year-old has earned rave reviews with his performances for the Spanish club and Chelsea could soon be forced to make a decision over his future with Petr Cech still entrenched as the main man in goal at Stamford Bridge.
Citing sources close to Courtois, the Sun claims that Barcelona have already made an informal approach for the player.