Blues prioritise defensive reinforcements

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Andre Villas-Boas has played down suggestions Chelsea will be extremely active in the January transfer window, and insists that defensive reinforcements remain the club's number one priority.

With a growing injury list putting further pressure on the Blues during a busy festive fixture list, speculation continues to circulate that the Portuguese tactician will delve into the market in the New Year in a bid to further strengthen his Stamford Bridge squad.

After Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel both limped off against Tottenham last week, Jose Bosingwa became the latest player to join them on the treatment table after he was replaced by Paulo Ferreira against Fulham due to a muscle tightness in his upper leg.

Despite playing out their third consecutive draw following yesterday's 1-1 Boxing Day draw with their west London rivals, Villas-Boas insists he is happy with the Chelsea squad at his disposal.

"Regarding what we are trying to do in central defence, we are trying to close a deal [for Gary Cahill] but I don't think we will do much more than that, maybe one more player," he said.

"Central defence is our number one priority and we will try to solve it as soon as possible. We had initial talks with Bolton but that doesn't mean he is our only target."

When asked about the condition of his injured players, Villas-Boas said that the club's doctors are working as hard as they can on their respective recoveries, and revealed a potential return date for two of the first-team squad's current absentees.

"Branislav Ivanovic will be back sooner than Mikel," he added. "We are looking at the Portsmouth game for Ivanovic and it is not impossible for Mikel either but it might be a bit too soon."

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