Carlo Ancelotti may be ready to introduce another big-money signing into his team at Fulham on Monday, but the Chelsea manager has conceded his side are all but out of the title race.
Ancelotti will give a full debut to £25million defender David Luiz at Craven Cottage, having blooded £50million striker Fernando Torres last week against former club Liverpool. But despite boasting such world-class reinforcements, Ancelotti appears to have accepted a Champions League place is the best he can hope for in the Barclays Premier League.
"For us it is difficult to think we can come back to fight for the title. It is better for us to think game by game," he said.
The Blues failed to sustain a bright start to the season and a series of poor results have left them fourth in the standings and 10 points adrift of Manchester United.
Ancelotti continued: "We have to reach fourth place in the table, minimum. It is better to think game by game because to close the gap is very difficult.
"We must be honest, the most important step is to reach fourth place and we have to fight with other teams (to do that). The surprise was that the bad moment we experienced was too long."
Luiz, meanwhile, is looking forward to being part of the star-studded Chelsea dressing room and believes it will help him grow as a player.
Ancelotti already rates the January recruit from Benfica enough to spend heavily on him, but the Brazil defender believes there is plenty to learn from his new team-mates.
"Usually it is the strikers who get the spotlight because they bring the joy and the goals to clubs," he said. "I'm just happy to be here to help Chelsea conquer their aims and be successful. I want to become a better player.
"It is certainly easier to play alongside them in training; I had the privilege to play against Torres when I was at Benfica and it was much harder. I can only learn from the best and it is a great pleasure to play alongside great players."
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