The summer transfer window began, and despite some clever acquisitions such as Andre Schurrle and Brazilian maestro Willian, the window appears generally disappointing for the west London club.
Jose Mourinho's new side failed to entice the likes of Edison Cavani and Radamel Falcao into a move to the capital and consequently, the Portuguese had to settle for the signing of want-away veteran striker Samuel Eto'o.
At first glance, he seems a decent option and a smart signing considering the low price tag his former club Anzhi Makhachkala demanded. However, most of the excitement at the move quickly vanished as discontent rose among fans at the decision to loan out 20-year-old Belgian Romelu Lukaku to Everton.
Lukaku had been highly-touted to take over the role as the main striker in the squad this season but in appears that Mourinho and his staff have decided that it would be more beneficial to all parties if the imposing frontman spent another season playing every week in the Premier League.
Last season, Lukaku managed to secure a jaw-dropping 17 goals in 20 starts for his former club, West Bromwich Albion, producing multiple exhibitions of pace, power, and clinical finishing. If Mourinho's Eto'o experiment doesn't turn out how the 'Special One' planned, here are the top three targets he could be looking to persuade to put pen-to-paper at Stamford Bridge in January:
Possible transfer fee: £4m-8m
When Berbatov snubbed an almost complete deal to Fiorentina - which possibly would have allowed Stevan Jovetic to join Chelsea - in the summer of 2012, it seemed that the former United striker would settle down and enjoy the twilight of his career playing in a low-profile team.
In contrast, it has been a fruitful period in the Bulgarian's career as he has shown all the touches, passes, and overall positional awareness necessary to play successfully alongside the likes of Eden Hazard Juan Mata etc. Mourinho had previously commented that Lukaku was ready to join the first-team this season, so it would be believed that he has gone on loan to play every week in order to secure his place as the leading striker for the World Cup. Berbatov could an excellent short-term solution.
Club: Manchester United
Possible transfer fee: £12m-20m
With Wayne Rooney seemingly staying at Old Trafford, it looks as though the Mexican poacher is braced for another season as a peripheral option in Manchester. Hernandez - who has a deadly scoring record against Chelsea - will be a dream-signing for much of the Stamford Bridge faithful; the striker is a natural finisher, constantly on the move and gets into plenty of goalscoring positions - everything which will make this youthful squad excel under their new manager.
Possible transfer fee: £18m-25
The free-scoring Brazilian has been subject to heaps of speculation linking him with a move away from his homeland, with Tottenham Hotspur reportedly interested. But with Spurs signing Spaniard Roberto Soldado, it seems competition for the no.9's signature has plummeted. Damiao is, again, a clinical finisher with impressive physical stature; making him suitable to make the switch from Brazilian football to the rough and tough of the Premier League. He would probably be the pricier option, but if he performs similar heroics that spectators have come to observe when playing for his country, this could be a prolific signing.
Honourable mentions: It's quite a mouth-watering thought when imagining your club signing Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke at the moment. The Belgian enjoyed an outstanding debut season in Birmingham, and has started this season in similar fashion.
However, any club considering a move for the former Genk man will be abruptly halted. He was recently convinced by Paul Lambert to sign a new contract, so it seems he won't be moving as soon as January at least. Also, being from Belgium, his signing may complicate relations between the Chelsea and Lukaku. The two are close off the pitch but it could cause problems if the two men vying for the spot for their national team are also battling for the spot in their club side. It is not at all likely that this deal will happen, but it is a a promising proposition.
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