Football

Will Chelsea stick or twist in January?

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Blues could spend big again. (©GettyImages)
Blues could spend big again. (©GettyImages).

Twelve months ago, Chelsea were faced with the possibility of dropping out of the top-four in the Barclays Premier League, surrendering the cash windfall that comes with successful qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich reacted to that by handing former manager Carlo Ancelotti an open-chequebook in a desperate attempt to try and buy the club's way back to success.

The tactic resulted in the £50million signing of Fernando Torres from Liverpool, followed by the arrival of Brazilian international defender David Luiz, who joined from Benfica for an initial £17million.

Chelsea finished the season as league runners-up, and exited Europe's top-tier competition at the quarter-final stage - both at the expense of Manchester United - meaning Ancelotti was axed, and in came Andre Villas-Boas in the summer.

However, fast-forward a year and Chelsea now find themselves confronted with the exact same predicament: should they stick or twist?

Neither Torres or Luiz have succeeded as planned at Stamford Bridge in their first 12 months, but it looks as though Abramovich has made his intentions quite clear with weekend reports in The Sun suggesting Villas-Boas will be handed a £150million war chest to make the club genuine title contenders again.

The Portuguese tactician was hired with a long-term vision for the club, and his first task is to rejuvenate an ageing Blues squad. Nicolas Anelka is poised to depart for pastures new in China in January, and Didier Drogba's future is still up in the air.

With Alex on the transfer list, and the likes of Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda eager to find regular first-team football, there could be a number of sweeping changes at SW6.

Gary Cahill is expected to complete a move from Bolton Wanderers when the window opens on Sunday, and Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Anelka.

GiveMeFootball takes a look at three of the best who could be heading for Stamford Bridge, and rates how good the move would be should Chelsea step up their interest...


Gary Cahill [Bolton & England]

Villas-Boas' first signing of 2012 is likely to come in the shape of Gary Cahill, who is set to leave Bolton for £7million.

Struggling Wanderers have indicated they are ready to sell the 26-year-old central defender who is entering the final six months of his contract, and is expected to link up alongside England partner John Terry.

GMF Rating: 8 out of 10


Milos Krasic [Juventus & Serbia]

Chelsea want to sign Milos Krasic as a replacement for Nicolas Anelka. Talks are believed to be ongoing with Juventus and it is understood that Andre Villas-Boas has urged defender Branislav Ivanovic to ask his fellow Serb to push for a move to Stamford Bridge.

The 27-year-old, who has also attracted interest from Manchester United could join the Blues on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move.

GMF Rating 7 out of 10


Edinson Cavani [Napoli & Uruguay]

The 24-year-old striker is believed to be Chelsea's No.1 target in January, and is rated at around £50million.

Cavani has netted 44 goals in 63 appearances for Napoli since moving to the Stadio San Paolo in 2010, and has been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs.

His agent Claudio Anellucci, recently admitted that his client is flattered to be linked with Stamford Bridge, but says any potential transfer would be out of his hands.

GMF Rating 9 out of 10

Topics:
Football
David Luiz
Chelsea
Premier League
Fernando Torres
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