Chelsea manager Roman Abramovich is set to splash cash to the tune of £60 million for Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric and Valencia winger Juan Mata, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
After seeing Manchester City's new signing Sergio Aguero displaying title-winning quality in his debut, Chelsea are under no illusions as to what is required of their team if they're to regain the Premiership crown. During the summer, while they focused more on signing youngsters for the future, the Manchester clubs were heavily active and their squads have been markedly strengthened.
Chelsea's 0-0 draw at Stoke, although not a bad result by any means, has dawned realization of the need for flair and creativity. The need for a winger was evident and reports had it that the Blues' £22 million bid for Valencia's Juan Mata rejected.
However, widespread reports in Spain and England have now suggested that Abramovich has come good in the transfer market with a £27 million offer for Mata - a fee which Valencia may find hard to resist, even though it is so close to the start of the new Spanish season.
Valencia-based newspaper SuperDeporte claims that talks between the directors at the London club and Valencia have intensified while another daily, Las Provincias, says Chelsea are ready to pay between €25 million and €30 million. The report goes on to suggest that Valencia would accept the offer as they have sufficient cover for the area in Sergio Canales who arrived from Real Madrid earlier in the summer.
Mata is also being pursued by Arsenal and Tottenham, but Chelsea can offer a genuine challenge for trophies, including the Champions League, which is likely to tempt the 23-year-old.
According to The Daily Mail, manager Andre Villas-Boas has persuaded Abramovich to offer an increased sum for Modric, having had two previous bids - of £22million and £27 million - rejected by Spurs. On Thursday when asked of links to Modric, Villas-Boas was coy.
It depends on the club's decision, if they are willing to go forward or not, up to which value and whether they want to keep the interest in the player, he said. It doesn't depend on me. It's not my money. We have to take sensible decisions or else you end up criticising us for other stuff. (But) the technical decisions are mine, of course.
It depends on what you have available. On the price, on the age of the player that you get. Luka, on this particular occasion, is a young player but there would be, for sure, a sensible price to pay.
When asked of links to midfielders including Liverpool's Raul Meireles and Porto's Jao Moutinho, Villas-Boas admitted that he would sign a midfielder due to Michael Essien's long injury lay-off.
With Michael Essien's injury for six months, it's fair to say that we might go to the market regarding a midfielder. For the first competitive games and bearing in mind the group phase of the Champions League and bearing in mind the start of the Carling Cup, we might just add a number in midfield. We have been studying all kinds of options.
We have approached Tottenham before regarding the player (Modric). I don't know if it's viable or not and to what extent we can go regarding his price because we are speaking about a high amount and nothing else basically.
Elsewhere, Brazilian winger Wilian has opened the door for a move to London, stating that he would love a move to the English capital.
I would love to play in England, he told the Daily Mail. The league is one of the best and there are some great clubs here; clubs with big players who play attractive football.
I like Chelsea and Arsenal's styles a lot. I'd be very happy to play for Tottenham too and help get them back into the Champions League. They're a very big club.
The Shakhtar Donetsk player has been linked to the big clubs across Europe after impressive performances in the Champions League. However, he is hugely tempted by a move to England.