Chelsea are finally set to make a splash in the transfer market, after the club chairman Ron Gourlay confirmed that the London side would complete two signings in the next "eight to ten days".
Gourlay was speaking to Chelsea's official Thailand supporters club and he said, "Andre has come in just a few weeks ago and needed some time to look at the pool of players we have, and we strengthened in January with bringing Fernando Torres and David Luiz into the squad.
"When a new coach comes in he has to look at players he has and think about tactics and systems, because different players play differently under different coaches and in the next 10 days Andre has the chance to analyse the squad and then we take it from there," he continued.
"But from our activity in the market place in the past, if the coach feels there is a player available that can strengthen our team then we almost definitely go into the market place. We will have at least two signings in the next eight to 10 days."
One of the two is certain to be Barcelona's teenage midfielder Oriol Romeu. A fee for the Spanish Under-20 star has already been agreed between the clubs and only personal terms and a medical remains in the way of a move.
Chelsea are in pursuit of a creative force in midfield and their interest in Tottenham's Luka Modric is no secret. However, the Blues have also been linked with Palermo star Javier Pastore in the early days after the transfer window opened and those links are back again. The Italian side confirmed that the Argentinean's move to London is very likely, with Vice-president Guglielmo Micciche claiming it is 'very probable' that Chelsea will sign the 22-year-old.
''It's very probable that Pastore will go to Chelsea, but I think there are other top-level teams who are after the player." Micciche told Radio Sportiva. "He wants a big club and there are advanced talks with very important teams. His agent (Marcelo Simonian) is working very well, and if someone pays the right money then we will be happy to sell him. If not, we will keep him."
"Let it be clear, we do not want any players as part of the deal.''
If the move happens, it'll leave Modric stranded at Tottenham, despite having placed a transfer request and making his desire to move to Chelsea public. Tottenham have already rejected two bids for the Croat and manager Harry Redknapp has stated that even a £35 million bid would fall under his valuation of the 25-year-old.
Pastore will cost Chelsea around £40 million, but being much younger than Modric, the Blues are likely to push through the deal.
Midfield remains a problem area for the London side though, as they also need to find a replacement for the injured Michael Essien who could be out for a minimum of six months. Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has been one of the few suggested as a possible replacement, but the Italian side's sporting director, Walter Sabatini, has vociferously stated that the player is not for sale.
Sabatini has only a year remaining in his contract with Roma, but interestingly, Sabatini revealed that he was prepared to lose him for free next summer than right now. A report in talkSport quoted him as saying, "We are in talks over the renewal (of De Rossi's contract) and will not begin any process with other clubs. He is not for sale.
"I'd prefer to have long negotiations over the contract renewal and risk losing him in a year than let him go today. The club will do everything possible to keep hold of De Rossi.
"Daniele is not subject to negotiations, as he has never and will never be on the market."
Another player that has been linked as Essien's replacement is Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila. The 21-year-old, who was linked with Arsenal and Liverpool earlier in the transfer season, is not on the market and the club has stated that the France international isn't for sale. However, The People have reported that Chelsea are willing to test their resistance with a £15 million bid.
Finally, the Independent has reported that Chelsea and Real Madrid's pursuit of Brazilian sensation Neymar would be challenged by Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. Anzhi have former Brazilian international Roberto Carlos in their ranks and the 38-year-old veteran has been speaking to Neymar, trying to persuade him to move to the Russian side.
Carlos told the Independent, "I talk to Neymar almost every day, and we're trying to get him to come here. I explained everything about the infrastructure to Neymar, about what it will be like here in two years."