Given Chelsea’s current struggles, it remains doubtful manager Jose Mourinho will even make it to the next transfer window still in situ at Stamford Bridge. But whether the Portuguese survives the current crisis or a new manager takes his place, Chelsea are likely to soon be looking to refresh their squad.
One of the many gripes Mourinho has had in a season that currently sees Chelsea struggling down in 15th place in the Premier League has been over the club’s failure to sign the players he wanted in the summer. The one big-name addition he did get was Spain international forward Pedro, and yet there is speculation that the new relationship has already soured.
Things could not have begun any better for the 28-year-old as he scored on his debut against West Brom. But he has struggled to make an impact since then and the Daily Express reports that he is already regretting the move and desires a return to Barcelona. That appears highly unlikely, particularly given that Pedro left Barcelona due to not getting regular first-team action.
But it would not be a surprise were he and several members of the squad currently unsettled. Worryingly, one of those is reported to be last season’s player of the year in England, Eden Hazard. The Belgian was left out of the starting lineup for the Premier League match against Aston Villa two weeks ago and subsequently criticized publicly by Mourinho for an alleged lack of defensive effort.
Unsurprisingly, his future at Stamford Bridge has been called into question. Recent reports in Britain and Spain have suggested that Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City are among the clubs that could be interested in the 24-year-old, who has been valued at around £70 million.
There has also been talk, too, about some potential big-name arrivals to Stamford Bridge, and even a possible replacement for Hazard. According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea maintain an interest in Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. Chelsea were strongly linked with the France international this summer after he scored 22 La Liga goals in his first season at Atlético, however a concrete bid never materialized. Still his continued impressive performances this campaign are sure to create even stronger interest from several of Europe’s top clubs. The Mail believes Chelsea would be willing to pay his release clause of 65 million euros (£47 million).
Another long-standing Chelsea target is also back in the news. Paul Pogba was thought to have featured highly on Mourinho’s wanted list this summer, and he would be an ideal fix to Chelsea’s problems with midfield balance. The France international’s agent, Mino Raiola, has revealed that Pogba’s future beyond this season remains undecided, although hinted that Barcelona may be at the front of the queue.
“We’ll see what Barça’s project is, and what Paul’s project is,” he told RMC Sport. “All doors are open to all clubs. For now, he decided last summer to stay for a minimum of one year at Juventus. We should always respect the will of a player when he chooses with his heart.”
Raiola also stated that Juventus would be looking for at least 100 million euros (£72 million) for the former Manchester United starlet. Still, it is sure to be a situation that Chelsea, and plenty of other clubs, will continue to monitor with interest heading toward next summer.