January transfer window ins and out at Chelsea

Posted by Mark Worrall

Whom should Chelsea bring in during the January transfer window, and whom should they ship out?

Luke Shaw: Talented, Chelsea-supporting Southampton left-back Shaw may only be 18 years old, but the England international is already an established Premier League player. Viewed as the long-term successor to veteran Ashley Cole -- and currently out of favour with Blues manager Jose Mourinho, who since returning to Stamford Bridge has preferred to play right-back Cesar Azpilicueta out of position on the left -- Shaw, who slipped through Chelsea's development system as an 8-year-old, would now cost the London club somewhere in the region of 20 million pounds.

Fredy Guarin: Having cut his teeth in European football, initially with Saint-Etienne of France and then crack Portuguese side FC Porto, 27-year-old Colombia international central midfielder Guarin made a name for himself last season playing in Italy's Serie A with Internazionale, making 47 appearances and scoring seven goals for the Milan-based club. Linked with Chelsea for several months, the tigerish Guarin, valued at 18 million euros, is every inch the type of box-to-box player that Mourinho covets. With club legend Frank Lampard in the twilight of his career, Michael Essien struggling for form, and Ramires along with John Obi Mikel rotated at will, Guarin would make a practical addition to Mourinho's squad as he bids to maintain Chelsea's title challenge in the new year.

TRANSFER PACKAGE Radamel Falcao celeb 20130915 [576x324]AllsportAnother push to sign Monaco's Radamel Falcao could be on the cards.

Radamel Falcao: A countryman of Gaurin's, Monaco striker Falcao has been the subject of significant speculation tying him with a move to Stamford Bridge since Chelsea's failed bid to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United during last summer's transfer window. As Mourinho continues to lament the profligacy of his current trio of forwards, Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o, a quartet of world-class hitmen, Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli, Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid, Jackson Martinez of FC Porto and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema have joined Falcao on a shopping list that looks set to sap the wallet of the Blues' munificent owner, Roman Abramovich.

Ashley Cole: Unhappy with the lack of playing time afforded him in a World Cup season, and yet to be offered a contract extension, the England defender is now on the radar of Real Madrid and former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti. Chelsea securing the signature of Shaw would almost certainly pave the way for Cole's departure to the Bernabeu, with another Blues left-back, Ryan Bertrand, also likely to leave Stamford Bridge in January either as make-weight in the Shaw deal or to Merseyside where both Liverpool and Everton have registered interest in the 24-year-old, who played a pivotal role in Chelsea's Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.

Kevin De Bruyne: Twenty-two-year-old Belgium international winger De Bruyne has complained bitterly about his lack of first-team opportunities at the Bridge this season, and while Mourinho may not fancy him, plenty of other managers do, with Malaga the latest of a clutch of clubs including Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen keen to take the player on a permanent basis.

Should Chelsea be successful in their pursuit of a world-class striker, a book-balancing exercise will be on the cards, with Essien and Ba the most likely to be removed from the Stamford Bridge wage bill. Juan Mata would be a high-profile departure that would disappoint many Blues supporters, but few would argue with the decision should a player of the calibre of Radamel Falcao be lured to London given the dazzling array of quality Mourinho has at his disposal in midfield.

David Luiz could be the subject of renewed interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Having displayed his versatility and value to Mourinho when playing central-midfield in the recent 2-1 victory over Liverpool, it seems unlikely Luiz would be allowed to leave, though a bid in excess of 40 million euros would certainly be considered if Abramovich gives the green light for a major marquee signing.


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