Chelsea not planning to buy striker insists Andre Villas-Boas

 

Andre Villas-Boas has claimed Chelsea have no plans to sign a striker, despite the prospect of losing Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou in January.

Villas-Boas has been linked with signing more than one forward when the transfer window reopens, including Chile prospect Eduardo Vargas, Real Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain and Napoli's Edinson Cavani who is set to face the Blues after they drew the Italians in the last-16 of the Champions League this morning.

Anelka will join Shanghai Shenhua at the turn of the year, while Drogba and Kalou could be unavailable for up to four weeks if Ivory Coast go far in the African Nations Cup.

That would leave Fernando Torres, Daniel Sturridge and Romelu Lukaku as Villas-Boas' only recognised strikers, and with the former still in the doldrums and the latter very much a raw teenager, Chelsea could end up short of goals during a crucial period of the season.

Yet, Villas-Boas shrugged off these concerns when asked if that meant he needed to bolster his forward line next month.

"I don't think so," said the Portuguese, who also pointed out that his side were not overly-reliant on a single goalscorer, unlike some of their title rivals.

"Sometimes teams generate more goalscoring opportunities for certain people.

"We are within Man City's range as the most attacking team.

"But we created for different players. That's why we have our goal sheet spread out through everybody, from (Frank) Lampard, to Sturridge, to Raul (Meireles), to (Juan) Mata.

"It's pretty diverse."

Yet, there is no disputing the difference Drogba has made to Chelsea since reclaiming his place as first-choice centre-forward ahead of Torres.

Drogba's performances have been all the more remarkable considering he is at loggerheads with the Blues over a new contract.

Reports today claimed talks have reached breaking point and that the 33-year-old now wants to be allowed to leave in January, with Chinese club Dalian Aerbin having offered him a two-year deal worth around £200,000 per week.

Chelsea have only been prepared to give him a one-year extension and also appear unlikely to let him go next month.

"The African Nations terminates on February 12 and hopefully he'll return to the club," said Villas-Boas.

"It's not up to me to speak about what is in Didier's mind at the moment regarding his future.

"It's a question you have to put to him.

"He is pretty much involved with Chelsea, as you've seen in the recent performances.

"His mindset is for competing with his colleagues towards this club."

Villas-Boas suggested Chelsea's stance had not shifted as a result of Drogba's displays.

"It's not just because he is performing now that we have changed our mind," he said.

"The conversation has been ongoing since the beginning and we'll continue to push for that."

He added: "The situation, I think, is between a two-year and a one-year and we are waiting to make the best decision possible.

"It's not just my decision. It's a decision between two parties and we have to wait and see what kind of agreement we reach.

"Whatever the outcome, or the agreement or non-agreement between the parties, there will be no question about his professionalism and integrity and I'm sure he'll keep on representing Chelsea."

Drogba looks certain to keep his place for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash at Wigan, where victory would move Chelsea to within four points of leaders Manchester City, who host Arsenal on Sunday.

"It will be the first time in the Premier League that we have a chance to go on a run of four straight wins," said Villas-Boas, whose side became the first team to beat City in the league this season on Monday night.

"A motivated Wigan will try to threaten us.

"If we get the win that we want and we expect, it just means that maybe we are in our best period of the season."

PA

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