It could be a summer of much change at Chelsea.
Recent results mean that it would be a major surprise were Rafael Benitez’s interim tenure to be extended beyond the end of the season. While it is hard to predict who the new man on the bench will be, it is a fair assumption that an unbalanced squad will be rejigged in the close season.
Below are six players that could be in Chelsea’s sights.
Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)
It would be a major surprise if Chelsea did not make a real push to try and pry the prolific Colombian striker away from Ateltico in the summer. Chelsea were reportedly offered Falcao just before Chelsea took on Atletico in the European Super Cup last August but rejected the opportunity with Roman Abramovic wanting to give Fernando Torres the opportunity to justify his £50 million fee.
Falcao would score a first-half hat-trick that night and has gone on to hit 18 goals in 19 La Liga matches this season to leave Chelsea pining over the 26-year-old. The fact that Torres has continued to struggle surely only heightens the Blues’ desire to bring Falcao to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will have to pay a hefty sum to land the former Porto man, while there is also likely to be strong competition for his signature.
Recruiting a central midfielder looks all-but certain to be a priority for Chelsea in the summer. Already short in that area, their options will be further reduced with the seemingly inevitable departure of Frank Lampard. Chelsea may well opt to go for Brazil international Paulinho, who shares many of the Stamford Bridge legend’s attributes.
Both Chelsea and Intenazionale have been heavily linked to the 24-year-old for some time and they look set to battle it out for his signature in the next transfer window.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton)
Chelsea could also be seeking add physicality to their midfield to compliment the silky creative skills provided by the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard. If that is the case, then a move for reported long-time target Fellaini could be on the cards.
Everton will hope that they can secure Champions League qualification and help Fellaini fulfill his ambitions, but if they don’t the Belgian may well seek a move.
Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen)
Chelsea’s interest in Schurrle dates back to last summer when at least one failed bid was made for the 22-year-old. Leverkusen were unwilling to sell at the time, but it could be a different story come the summer.
Capable of playing through the middle, Schurrle has predominantly operated from the left of the attack and would provide the Blues with a goal threat and a more natural balance on that side.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Chelsea have previously bid for the Croatian playmaker and there has been speculation that their interest could be reignited with Modric struggling since his £33 million transfer to Real Madrid. The 27-year-old was recently voted as the worst signing of the season in Spain by readers of Marca, prompting speculation in England that he could be on the move this summer.
When Modric has played for Madrid it has been in an offensive midfield role, but he could be beneficial to Chelsea in a deeper playmaking role.
Benat (Real Betis)
But, rather than Modric, Chelsea could instead opt for Betis playmaker Benat. With the abundance of Spanish midfield talent it says much for the 25-year-old’s abilities that he is viewed as the current understudy to Xavi with the national team.
Chelsea are said to have a strong interest in the former Atheltic Bilbao man, but Betis have said that he will not leave for less than his €20 million release clause, despite him having less than 18 months remaining on his contract.