Mourinho is desperate to sign a proven goalscorer for the second half of this campaign.
Chelsea will attempt to solve their lack of firepower up front so far this season by swooping for prolific Aston Villa front man Christian Benteke as soon as the transfer window opens again in January, with the Blues believed to have already made contact with the Belgium’s representatives to gauge whether he would be interested in a move to Stamford Bridge.
The one area of the team that returning Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho is understood to be concerned about at present is in attack, with the Portuguese having already made a number of attempts during the recent summer transfer window to strengthen his malfunctioning forward line.
‘Mou’ made it public very early on after his return to the west London club from Liga giants Real Madrid that he wanted to bring unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to the capital, following the England international’s very own revelation that he wanted to quit the Premier League champions this summer.
However, despite submitting two offers with the Red Devils for their star man valued at £26m and £30m, both bids were immediately rejected out of hand by United, who stated that they would not allow Rooney to move to Chelsea under any circumstances and whatever the sum their rivals were prepared to pay for the forward.
As a result, the self-styled ‘Special One’ was forced to shift his attacking focus elsewhere ahead of the new campaign, with the Uefa Europa League winners eventually managing to agree a deal to sign experienced Cameroon front man Samuel Eto’o from big-spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala on a bumper one-year contract.
But the 32-year-old’s arrival at the Bridge was only ever meant to be a stop-gap measure on the part of Mourinho, who knew that his former star striker from their time working together at Serie A giants Inter Milan between 2008-10 was unlikely to be able to reproduce the eye-catching form in front of goal from those days at San Siro.
And having allowed powerful Belgium international Romelu Lukaku to move to Everton on a season-long loan in order for the youngster to gain valuable game time in the Premier League this campaign, Mourinho has now been left with just Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba as his only recognised front men at the club, at least until the transfer window finally reopens once again for business at the turn of the year that is.
However, with Mourinho having now conceded, in private at least, that he made a mistake not bringing in another younger goalscorer before the window slammed shut on Sept 2, the Chelsea manager is already putting together plans to rectify the problem after watching his new team struggle to hit the target with any great regularity in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
In fact, it was in one of those early-season Premier League encounters that the Portuguese saw for himself the red-hot form that Villa marksman Benteke is in at present, with the 22-year-old equalising for Paul Lambert’s men at the Bridge in August with a sensational volleyed goal, just one of five strikes in as many games already so far this season from the boot of the prolific Belgium international.
Indeed, when you consider the goalscoring run that the deadly striker has been on in this calendar year alone, with only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from Europe’s top-five leagues having netted more goals than Benteke has, then you can understand just why Mourinho is so keen on signing the player in January.
And in total since arriving at Villa from Standard Liege last August for just £7m, Benteke has scored 28 goals in only 44 matches in all competitions for the Midlands outfit, 23 of which came in the Premier League, to go alongside his six strikes for his country in 15 internationals.
As a result, Chelsea are said to be confident that a bid in excess of £25m will be enough to persuade Villa to part company with Benteke, who tried to force through his exit from the club in July, only to then perform a dramatic U-turn and sign a new four-year deal in the Midlands until the summer of 2017, with the club believed to be willing to go as high as £30m for the player owing to the fact the Belgium will not be cup tied in Europe and so can feature in this season’s Champions League campaign.