Chelsea may be the early leaders in the Premier League following a huge summer of spending, but speculation continues that owner Roman Abramovic could dip further into his massive wealth come the January transfer window.
A potential high-profile target has emerged in recent days, with reports linking the Blues with a move for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. For so long a mainstay of Real’s backline, the Spain international’s future has come into question after being left out of the side that faced Manchester City last week.
Subsequent reports have suggested that the decision resulted from a rift between Ramos and Real manager Jose Mourinho.
While Mourinho has dismissed such talk, Chelsea are monitoring the situation with a view to making a bid for the 26-year-old in January, according to the Daily Mail.
While the report states that Chelsea were eager to bring in a defender during the summer, it fails to points out that Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta was signed last month. Chelsea also appear well stocked in the center of defense with John Terry, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, although Ramos may well be considered an upgrade in that department.
Chelsea’s most urgent need, currently, would appear to be for a striker. Fernando Torres is still struggling to rediscover his best form, with Daniel Sturridge is the only other established option in Roberto Di Matteo’s squad.
While the Blues have been linked strongly with Atletico Madrid’s Falcao in recent times, Metro claims that Fernando Llorente is on Chelsea’s wish list.
Llorente has entered the final year of his contract at the La Liga outfit and has encountered hostility from his own club’s fans for failing to extend his deal. Athletic have so far refused to lower their asking price from his €36 million (£28.7m) buy-out clause, although that could change come January.
Arsenal, Manchester City and Juventus are also said to be interested in the Spain international.
There has also been further speculation in recent days about the future of highly-coveted Brazilian star Neymar. The 20-year-old forward has long been linked with a move away from Santos to some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea. According to Metro, however, big spending Paris Saint- Germain could be set to blow the competition out of the water with a massive £85 million bid.
It has long been thought that Neymar would remain in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup, but Metro states that the situation may have changed.
A former Brazilian star at PSG, midfielder Rai, has discussed the prospects of Neymar moving to the French capital.
“It will be difficult to convince Neymar to move to Paris, because there are a lot of clubs after his signature,” Rai told Le 10 Sport.
“But PSG have already signed Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura. I believe they are all players who were difficult for PSG to convince as well.
“PSG will face stiff competition for his signature, so you can't make any guarantees. I hope that they will manage to sign him, though. It will be very difficult, but it's definitely possible.”
Finally, Chelsea are also said to be interested in Milan youngster Bryan Cristante, according to Metro. The Italy Under-19 international midfielder made his first and only appearance for the Rossoneri last season aged just 16. Cristante is said to be available for £1 million.