Rafa Benitez hints at Chelsea transfer plan

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Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has hinted the club need to sign a defensive midfielder in the forthcoming January transfer window, reports Sky Sports.

The Blues are currently in Japan preparing to kick-off their Club World Cup campaign with a clash against Monterrey on Thursday morning, and the Spanish coach has already spoken of his lack of deep-lying options.

With Oriol Romeu ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery, and John Obi Mikel set to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations in the New Year, Chelsea are short on numbers.

Benitez has a wealth of attacking options with the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, but may need to re-enter the market for another defence-minded player, in order to tighten up his Stamford Bridge squad.

"You need to know the players and find the balance," he is quoted by The Times. "If you have too many players with quality - these players we were talking about, all dynamic but cannot regain the ball - you do not have the balance.

"If you give the ball away, you have to regain [it]."

Chelsea have been linked with Corinthians' Brazil international, Paulinho, and Newcastle United's tough-tackling midfielder Cheick Tiote, amongst other players, but it remains to be seen who they will firm up interest in come January.

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