Chelsea are planning a £90million overhaul of their squad in the summer, despite not having a permanent manager in place.
The first stop on Roman Abramovich’s shopping spree will be the stadium formerly known as St. James’ Park, with Tim Krul and Cheick Tiote at the top of the list.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea also want £30million-rated Radamel Falcao and Porto striker Hulk, who has a £34million price tag.
The two forwards were amongst Andre Villas-Boas’ top targets after he managed them at Porto and it seems strange that Chelsea would still be so interested in two such expensive players. Don’t get me wrong, both are very talented forwards and would give Chelsea’s forward line a much needed boost.
They both have such high price-tags though, especially Hulk, who is the likelier to move to Stamford Bridge in my opinion. A lot depends on who the next manager is at Chelsea.
It is the two potential arrivals from Newcastle though, which could be very interesting for Chelsea.
If Chelsea are to return to their former glories of several years ago, they must firstly stop conceding so many goals. They have conceded 32 in the league, which isn’t terrible considering some of the results this season, but it is the teams that they concede to these days. The likes of Wigan, West Brom and Wolves would not have scored against the Chelsea of five years ago – no disrespect to those teams, but solidity is something that has always been associated with Chelsea.
Petr Cech’s form this season has been awful by his standards and the once-trustworthy goalkeeper has made numerous mistakes this season, which have probably cost Chelsea a couple of points.
On the other hand, Tim Krul at Newcastle has just about been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League so far this season. Most of the top teams in England have good young goalkeepers, but it is no surprise that Chelsea are thinking about trading Cech in for a younger model. Tottenham too, can’t expect to rely on Brad Friedel in the long term and might look to rival Chelsea for Krul’s signature.
It can also be said that Chelsea have never really replaced Claude Makelele. John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien have both done okay in the holding midfield position, but Mikel doesn’t move the ball forward quick enough, and Essien is very injury-prone and arguably better utilised in a more-free box-to-box role.
Tiote would be perfect for Chelsea, he is very good at breaking up play and equally as adept at starting attacks and putting his team on the front foot. Newcastle have looked a different team without him this season and it is no surprise that Chelsea are interested, but they aren’t the only ones.
Manchester United and Liverpool have been credited with an interest in the Ivorian midfielder this season. United especially are thought to be very interested and if Chelsea fail to get into the Champions League next season, then you would have to think Old Trafford is Tiote’s most likely destination, should he leave Newcastle.
The fact that Chelsea have recognised that they need to sure up their defence before changing their philosophy shows that Abramovich (or whoever is making the decisions) isn’t completely stupid – now to just find a seventh manager in eight years!
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