Reports have been emerging in The Express suggesting that Jose Mourinho is looking to bring in Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, a player he referred to as the 'best young central defender in the world' during his time as Real's manager last season.  

It must be questioned, however, whether Chelsea need to bring in another central defender given the options already at their disposal and there are five players who may perhaps make Mourinho think again...

1) John Terry

Whether you admire Mourinho's ability to keep clean sheets or spite the Portuguese's negative tactics it cannot be denied that John Terry has been at the heart of Chelsea's incredible defensive performance this season.  

Terry has kept a total of 16 clean sheets in the Premier League this season and despite turning 34 later this year his leadership qualities and ability to organise a back four should not be overlooked in light of his age.

2) Gary Cahill

One of only a handful of shoe-ins for Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad this summer, Cahill has proven himself to be one of the best Premier League signings in recent years after joining Chelsea for a fee of around £7 million in January 2012.  

Should any defender come in over the summer it is very unlikely that it will be at the expense of Cahill's position in the starting XI after his no nonsense style of defending has won the hearts of teammates and fans alike. 

3) Kurt Zouma

Zouma is a precocious centre-back and has been a stalwart for Saint Etienne since he was 17, a tender age for a central defender who has often been disrupted by injuries.

Zouma signed for Chelsea in January, however, was loaned back to St Etienne for the remainder of the season. The young Frenchman has been tipped to be a star at Stamford Bridge after making a name for himself in Ligue 1 for his exceptional power and technique as well as a maturity that has clearly caught the eye of Mourinho.

4) Tomas Kalas

The young Czech Republic defender joined Chelsea in 2010 before spending two years on loan at Vitesse Arnhem. Since his return, Kalas has had limited opportunities to impress, however, his performance in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield provided evidence for what could be a promising future for Kalas at Chelsea.  

With the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling firing on all cylinders, Kalas displayed composure and maturity and was an integral part of a fine defensive performance by Chelsea.

5) Branislav Ivanovic

Often deployed on the right-side of Chelsea's regimental back four, Ivanovic has shown himself to be a very versatile option for Mourinho. The Serbian has been in fine form this season scoring three goals whilst providing stability and aerial prowess.  

With Cesar Azpilicueta, however, looking to establish himself in his preferred position at right-back Ivanovic may be increasingly used as back up to Chelsea's central defence as of next season.

Whilst Raphael Varane is undoubtedly a player of exceptional talent, Real Madrid will be demanding a very large transfer fee should they be willing to sell and given the shortage of goals for Chelsea this season, Mourinho must look to strengthen in other areas.

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Topics:
Raphael Varane
Chelsea
Branislav Ivanovic
Football
Gary Cahill
John Terry
Premier League
Real Madrid