Blues to spend big on talented young duo and to solve problems upfront.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is keen to make major additions to his squad this January, and is willing to spend as much as £65m on three of his top targets, CaughtOffside understands.
With an emphasis on youth, following from his investments such as Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Willian during the summer, Mourinho will target exciting young pair Ross Barkley and Giannelli Imbula for his midfield, for a combined fee of around £40m.
Barkley, currently of Everton, has had a superb start to the season this year, drawing comparisons from his manager Roberto Martinez with a young Michael Ballack, and earning his first call-up to the senior England national team.
A superb all-round box-to-box player, Barkley is already likely to command a fee of around £20m despite being only 19, but with the legendary Frank Lampard, 35, likely to be in his final season at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho is keen to bring in a long-term replacement for him, and sees Barkley as having the potential to replicate his success for both club and country.
Imbula is another superb midfield prospect, and will likely be another big-money purchase as he only signed for current club Marseille this summer, with the Ligue 1 giants said to be demanding £25m for him, though Chelsea are confident of bringing that fee down to £20m.
The 21-year-old could be a direct replacement for Brazilian star Ramires, who is wanted by Spanish giants Real Madrid, and who is seemingly keen on a reunion with his old boss Carlo Ancelotti at the Bernabeu.
The final £25m of Mourinho’s transfer budget will go on an ambitious move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world at the moment and has been on the radar of several European giants for some time now.
However, Lewandowski himself seems to have his heart set on a move to Dortmund’s rivals Bayern Munich, with rumours strongly suggesting he could look to sign for the treble winners when his contract comes to an end next summer.
Chelsea, however, will do their best to hijack the move as they are desperate to bring in a top class addition upfront, as concerns remain over the likes of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o.
Lewandowski currently has ten goals in as many games this season, following on from 36 in 49 appearances last term, and a big-money offer would surely tempt Dortmund into selling him half way through the campaign, as they will be glad to avoid seeing another of their star players leave for their rivals, with Mario Goetze making the same move in the summer.
It is unclear if the 25-year-old himself will be persuaded to choose Stamford Bridge over the Allianz Arena, and Chelsea will consider the likes of Christian Benteke, Jackson Martinez and Karim Benzema as alternatives.