Football

Mourinho tipped to axe several Chelsea stars in January

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Chelsea could sell up to three first-team stars in the January window - with David Luiz, Michael Essien and Kevin De Bruyne tipped to depart.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola claims Essien, De Bruyne and Luiz could be shown the exit door at Stamford Bridge this winter, with Eliaquim Mangala and Radamel Falcao on the way in. Reports earlier this month suggested Demba Ba was another fighting for his future at the club, but the latest reports do not mention the Senegal forward.

Mangala, the Porto centre-half, could be drafted in as a replacement for David Luiz. The Brazilian defender was benched following the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle and hasn't featured in the two Chelsea games since.

Jose Mourinho reportedly has reservations over his ability to play centre-back, and the Chelsea boss has preferred John Terry and Gary Cahill in recent matches against West Brom and Schalke.

Belgian international De Bruyne is another who is expected to leave in the January window - although the former-Genk star could depart on loan.

Several German and Belgian clubs have registered their interest in signing the attacking midfielder on loan, while Essien has been restricted to Capital One Cup and substitute appearances under Mourinho.

As for Mangala and Falcao, the report claims they could be two players brought to the club in January to help mount a title challenge.

The Blues, currently fourth in the Premier League table, have struggled for goals up-front, with Oscar and Eden Hazard currently the club's joint top scorers in the league with four.

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Chelsea

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