Chelsea are considering a massive €100 million ($133m) offer for Real Madrid pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Despite the sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly remains committed to reinventing the squad this summer and sees the Real forwards as a great way to start.
But with the possibilities of securing Ronaldo surely slim, Chelsea are also reportedly preparing back-up options. Foremost among them is a €70 million ($93m) offer for Napoli pair Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to the same Telegraph report.
There will certainly be positions to be filled in the forward positions at Stamford Bridge next season. Dider Drogba is 34 and out of contract come the summer, while strong doubt remains over whether Fernando Torres will ever return to his explosive best.
The only player who has truly impressed in a forward role this campaign is Juan Mata, with everyone else--including Daniel Sturridge, Salmon Kalou and Florent Malouda--possibilities to be replaced.
Despite the seemingly astronomical value of Chelsea's proposed offer, Real are sure to value Ronaldo and Higuain considerably higher.
The Spanish giants paid $127 million for Ronaldo alone less than three years ago and the Portuguese forward has gone on to become the fatsest player to 100 La Liga goals this past weekend.
Although Ronaldo has expressed his displeasure at being jeered by a section of Real fans earlier in the season, there is as yet no suggestion that he sees his future away from the Spanish capital.
A move for the Napoli pair appears more likely, though club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis may not be inclined to lose two star players in one fell swoop, regardless of the financial incentive.
Of course there is the other small matter of Chelsea currently being without a full-time manager. It would not say much for the future incumbent's autonomy if players are already being signed without his consultation.
It appears as if, after spending a combined $127 million on Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres, reportedly with little managerial input, and little in return, Abramovich has not yet learned his lesson.