Joseph Stuart looks at some of Chelsea's targets for the summer transfer window and offers his assessment of their Stamford Bridge prospects...
Raphael Varane, 21 - Real Madrid
Seen by Jose Mourinho as the perfect replacement for club legend and captain John Terry, the tough tackling Frenchman shone under the Chelsea manager in Madrid. And it seems the Mourinho is keen to unite his partnership with Varane. Although he is one of the brightest young talents in Europe, with Gary Cahill and Terry at the heart of Chelsea's back four, I don't see a spot in Chelsea's starting XI for the youngster if he were to join next season.
a) Likelihood of transfer: 7/10
b) Likelihood of starting for Chelsea next season: 6/10
Ross Barkley, 20 - Everton
A potential trade up for talisman Romelu Lukaku, the young Englishman has been a star this season and was nominated for the PFA young player of the year. The hardworking midfielder has scored six goals and picked up four assists. With his versatility, playing in an attacking midfield role or more of a holding position, I think Barkley will get plenty of opportunities in the starting Chelsea XI.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, 29 - PSG
Ezequiel Lavezzi is reportedly keen to leave Paris in the hope of crossing the Channel. Jose Mourinho described Lavezzi (and Cavani) as the type of ''real strikers'' who would have been a guarantee of bringing silverware to Stamford Bridge this season. Could Chelsea sign the Argentine if Eden Hazard moves to PSG?
Diego Costa, 25 - Atletico Madrid
Proably Chelsea's top target at the moment, the Blues had allegedly wrapped up an agreement to bring Costa to Stamford Bridge for a fee in the region of £32m. But when asked about a move to Chelsea recently, Costa said: "People say silly things". Costa has had an impeccable season, and still has two massive games with Atletico Madrid before the end of the season, with the Madrid-based team in contention for the Liga title and a first ever Champions League. We will nervously await to hear whether the Spaniard will make the move to Stamford Bridge, but all I know is when he does, Premier League clubs should brace for a storm.
Paulinho, 25 - Tottenham Hotspur
It looks like Chelsea are in the market for a long-term replacement for Frank Lampard, and who else to replace them with hard-working and tough tackling Paulinho? Chelsea have a strong Brazilian contingency and securing the talents of Paulinho would not be too difficult. With some experience now in the Premier League, alongside in-form Nemanja Matic he could form a very strong partnership in the centre of midfield for the Blues.
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