The Chelsea summer rebuild
After Chelsea's disastrous season they are reported to be planning a summer rebuild. We look ahead to where they should strengthen and who they should look to move on as they try to get back in the Champions League places.
Chelsea's first half of the season was terrible. Players underperforming and the apparent loss of the dressing room led to manager Jose Mourinho getting sacked just months after he led the blues to a league and cup double. With Jose sacked Chelsea looked to former manager Guus Hiddink to manage them until the end of the season. Under Hiddink Chelsea looked a new team and slowly started to climb the league. Many fans where happy with Hiddink's management and wanted him to carry on for another few years. However it seems certain that Italy boss Antonio Conte will be taking the reins after the European Championships. With a manager of this pedigree coming in you can expect a lot of transfers coming in and out of Stamford Bridge.
Thibaut Courtois has been in disappointing form this year. The 23 year olds problems started on the opening day of the season, where he got sent off giving away a penalty. The Belgian has had two red cards this season and Asmir Begovic has had to fill in on a number of occasions. Real Madrid are thought to be interested in the goalkeeper and are rumored to be preparing a €35 million bid. Chelsea's replacement, should this deal go through, is Southampton's Fraser Forster. The 28 year old has been in superb form this year and has gathered interest from some of England's biggest clubs. He went a club record 708 minutes without conceding a goal and would cost Chelsea around £25 million.
With John Terry's contract set to expire at the end of the year, Chelsea are not just losing a quality defender, but are also losing a great leader. Terry will be near impossible to replace due to his leadership qualities and defensive ability. Chelsea are looking at Roma's 24 year old center back Kostas Manolas. The Greek international is thought to be valued around £25 million and would be a great replacement to John Terry. He would also be very well suited to the English game. He is fast, strong and exceptional in the air. And because of the fact he is only 24 means that he will only get better.
Chelsea's midfield is where the most changes look to be happening, John Obi Mikel is thought to be in talks with Valencia ahead of a proposed move. But it is the potential sale of Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard that is the big news. The 25 year old was last seasons player of the year, however this campaign he has looked a shadow of the player that was previously tearing defenses apart. Chelsea signed Hazard for around £35 million from Lille. Real Madrid are interested and could potentially sign the Belgian for a cut price fee of £50 million. Chelsea are looking to bring in 2 midfield players. Roma's midfielder Radja Nainggolan. The 27 year old has a great range of passing and some great defensive qualities meaning he is one of the best box to box midfielders in the world. Roma's are thought to value him at £30 million. Chelsea are also eyeing up a move for Anderlecht's Belgian starlet Youri Tielemans. The 18 year old is attracting interest from all of Europe's top clubs. Man United have reportedly sent a scout to watch him but it is Chelsea that seem to want him the most, as they prepare a £30 million bid.
Another player Chelsea are looking to offload is unsettled striker Diego Costa. The striker has struggled to find his best form and a number of controversial antics of the pitch mean he is available at a cut price fee of around £40 million. PSG are thought to be interested as they look to replace the departing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Chelsea are looking at Napoli's £80 million rated striker Higuain. The striker has been on Chelsea's radar for a number of years and this looks like the season where they could finally get him. His ability to hold up the ball we be very useful to Chelsea next year and he guarantees you at least 20 goals a season.
If Chelsea can complete the transfer window smoothly then they could once again challenge for the league.