Much of the speculation at Chelsea this summer looks likely to surround who will be leading their line next season. Fernando Torres seemed destined to fill that position for years to come following his mammoth £50 million transfer from Liverpool last January, but some positive signs of late, there remains major doubts about whether the Spaniard will ever fulfill his potential in a Chelsea shirt.
Didier Drogba, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate his ability to be a dominant presence in the big games. But, with the 34-year-old's contract due to expire in the summer, his future remains far from certain.
The Sun reports on Wednesday that Barcelona have entered the race to sign Drogba, with a lucrative move to Shanghai Shenhua also rumored to be on the table.
The report quotes an unnamed Barcelona source, who says:
What the team needs is an attacking player who has the presence and strength to trouble defenders. Drogba has that profile and is one of the players the club are looking at.
While Chelsea has reportedly offered Drogba a new deal, it is also likely that offer options are being explored by the club's hierarchy.
One of those alternatives appears to be Radamel Falcao, who has been long-admired at the Bridge. The prolific Atletico Madrid man was recently asked about his future by a radio station in his home nation of Colombia.
Manchester United or Chelsea? he was asked, according to Tribal Football.
Atletico, Falcao replied.
Real Madrid or Barcelona? the interviewer then probed.
Atletico, he again responded.
It would take an enormous amount of money to get Falcao, but his scoring record in the past two seasons suggests that he could be the perfect replacement for Drogba.
There are better signs regarding another man, whom the club pursued last summer. Luka Modric has and stated that he will evaluate his future after Euro 2012, according to the Daily Mirror, with a suggestion that the Tottenham midfielder will reassert his wish to leave. A year ago, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy denied Modric his move to Chelsea, despite several bids emanating from Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea can beat Bayern Munich and secure their participation in next season's Champions League, and at the same time deny Tottenham the same prize, then Modric is likely to be eager to depart White Hart Lane.
I will decide about my future after the Euros, Modric said. I will make the decision where to continue my career. I'm ready for the big tests.
Modric may not be the only Premier League midfielder on Chelsea's radar this summer, with the agent of Yaya Toure suggesting that his client could be ready for a new challenge, according to the Sun.
The Manchester City powerhouse has been a key element of Manchester City's title win and it seems hard to imagine Toure leaving the Etihad. But that scenario could materialize if the words of Dimitri Seluk are to be believed.
He has done all he can do at City and he needs new motivations, he said.
Toure could sign for many big clubs like Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Also, We would like to see Barca join the race.
Finally, while reports yesterday suggested that Fiorentina could be willing to do business with Chelsea over their star forward Stevan Jovetic, the club has now said that this is categorically not the case.
We want to build our future around Jovetic, Fiorentina official Sandro Mencucci said, according to ESPN Soccernet. He has a contract until June 2016.
Being a great player, it's normal that several clubs are monitoring him.''