Jose Mourinho says he loves to have problems regarding squad selection, though only when the entire team is performing well.
If the current squad isn't troublesome enough for the Special One, he looks certain to augment his worries next season.
The Blues, who are coasting through the Premier League currently, are already planning for upgrades and improvements, and while a centre-back successor to John Terry seems the major necessity, and possibly a cover for Nemanja Matic's position, Mourinho seems to have his eye on a very talented German - Marco Reus.
Five years ago, signing a £20 million player would have been no issue for Chelsea. A Russian cheque would have been issued, and the player would've been unveiled as a Blue. Not anymore though. Given the club's strict adherence to the Financial Fair Play rules (FFP), spendings have to be balanced by income.
Player swap deal?
In this case, Andre Schurrle could be the player who makes up the cash to get Reus in. The World Cup-winning-assist provider looks set to be part of an exchange that sees the player who got injured in the last friendly before the World Cup, come to Stamford Bridge.
Article continues below
Chelsea have sold ruthlessly in the near past; Juan Mata and David Luiz are just two examples. Even promising talents like Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne were let go to ensure the team prospered.
But the signings of Diego Costa and Matic (because of which Mata and Luiz were let go) were necessities, and De Bruyne and Lukaku did not fit into the Blues' game. The Reus for Schurrle scenario is neither of those.
Schurrle had a very solid start to his Premier League career last season. His burst of pace and finishing skills are in the very words of his manager, ruthless. As a false nine his stellar pace and eye make him a unique gem in the Chelsea galaxy. The only reason he isn't a regular starter already is because of the crown jewel in the Blues' squad - Eden Hazard.
Hazard over Schurrle
Schurrle may not be Hazard good yet, but he has the time and the potential to excel. Chelsea would remember another winger who struggled with minor injuries and fitness during Mourinho's initial spell before being sold to Real Madrid - a gentleman named Arjen Robben.
Schurrle's current campaign has been hampered by minor niggles and that's not to forget the World Cup-winning hangover. He had a very good base season in England, scoring nine goals in all, and was pivotal in victories over Fulham, with his hat-trick, and the opening goal in the stunning comeback victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Any fan of attacking football would love to see Schurrle's spirited runs behind the sensational Costa, both being supplied by Francesc Fabregas and Hazard.
Would it then make sense then for Chelsea to sell someone they've spent a valuable year nurturing and moulding as per the team, to replace with some one from a different league?
Reus move to benefit?
Reus's talent is undisputed but the Premier League's game needs considerable adapting to, and the German's niggling injuries of late won't make things easier. Settling into the English game is not easy, and even someone of Reus's talent would need time to acclimatise .
But this does not mean Chelsea should not poach on someone of Reus's potential if they have the chance. Given Hazard's continual links with Real Madrid, Chelsea need to ensure they have a capable replacement in hand, if and when the time comes.
Ancelotti and Real are also long time admirers of Ramires, and given the Brazilian's recent discipline issues on field, it would be a good time to cash in. He has for a while now been limited to a squad player, used primarily when Mourinho wanted to check the runs of the opposition wingers directly. With colleagues like Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Schurrle ahead of him, Ramires makes little impact as a forward.
Or something better, remember Victor Moses? He seems to be regaining some form at Stoke City this season, and could fetch a decent £7-8 million. Pair that with the money Chelsea can get by off loading Salah, and there's your £15 million or so that supplements Reus's purchase. This also keeps the squad in check with the foreign players quota.
Willian can do the ball tracking work of Ramires pretty well, and has the pace and stamina to track balls all over the field. In an ideal world, Chelsea would sell Willian for Reus, but the Brazilian would simply not fetch anything close to the £35 million they spent on him.
Imagine a 4-1-3-2 lineup with Oscar or Fabregas at the base of the pentagon, Reus and Hazard floating ahead of him, and Costa and Schurrle up front. With Remy, Willian and/or Salah, they have the perfect squad players for cover.
However, playing positions would be pivotal here, and signing Reus when Chelsea already have Hazard and Schurrle for the position could raise a few eye brows, including the Borussia Dortmund star's himself.