Chelsea to launch January spending spree as striker Daniel Sturridge heads to Liverpool for £12m

Radamel Falcao heads Rafael Benitez's list of transfer targets as £12m sale will leave club with only one centre-forward

Chelsea are preparing the way for their January transfer spending by selling striker Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for £12m.

The move will leave Rafael Benitez, who is keen to provide Fernando Torres with more support, with just one recognised centre-forward.

The interim manager confirmed last night he will discuss transfer targets with the club's hierarchy later this week and a move for Atletico Madrid's coveted goalscorer Radamel Falcao is highly likely. The departing Sturridge should sign for Liverpool in the first two weeks of the window next month. The 23-year-old has only started two Chelsea games all season.

His last appearance was in the 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion a month ago, which was Roberto Di Matteo's last domestic game as Chelsea manager.

Benitez has not used Sturridge once since his arrival. At his press conference yesterday, the Spaniard admitted there were "conversations with different options" for Sturridge's future. The player's chosen destination is Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, is keen to add to his flimsy striking resources. Luis Suarez is the club's only fit senior centre-forward after Andy Carroll was loaned to West Ham United but not replaced, to Rodgers' frustration.

Summer signing Fabio Borini broke his foot in October and the responsibility given to Raheem Sterling, 18, has been greater than Rodgers had hoped through necessity – he has already started 17 games.

Two weeks ago, when Suarez was suspended, young midfielder Jonjo Shelvey started at centre-forward against West Ham.

Rodgers also hopes to sign Blackpool's 20-year-old winger Tom Ince in January, 16 months after Liverpool sold him to the Championship club.

If Sturridge goes, the pressure will increase on Chelsea to buy new strikers. They are almost as limited in their options as Liverpool, with only one fit senior forward, Torres, who is not anywhere near the form of Suarez.

Beyond the Spaniard, they only have Victor Moses, signed in the summer from Wigan Athletic, but he has mainly been used on the wing.

Benitez confirmed yesterday that after tonight's game with Leeds United in the Capital One Cup, but before the opening of the transfer window, he would have time to discuss transfer targets with the club hierarchy.

"We have time before January," Benitez said when asked when he would be planning the club's strategy for new signings. "We have just arrived home [from Japan] yesterday and then [we have] another game. Hopefully we have two or three days after this game, and then we have plenty of time. We are still working, the people in charge are working, and we will talk about names."

Benitez's chief ally will be Michael Emenalo, the technical director. "We can chat every day," he said. "So Michael is watching the training sessions and we talk about players, the team and what we need. I know what he likes, he knows what I like. It is just about agreeing."

Chelsea may well pursue Falcao, the third top-scorer La Liga with 14 goals already this season.

Benitez may also decide to recruit in central midfield. Chelsea's options are limited there too, with Oriol Romeu injured, John Obi Mikel suspended and Frank Lampard only just back from injury.

Another issue on Benitez's agenda is club confidentiality, with Chelsea set to remind staff to be more careful with their documentation after two sheets of paper detailing tactical plans for corners (below) were found in the dressing room of the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama following Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Corinthians in the Club World Cup on Sunday.

Oscar, the Brazilian midfielder, was upset not to have played against Corinthians but Benitez insisted there are no problems with the 20-year-old.

"Oscar is a very good lad, a very good professional," he said. "His reaction has been very positive. We don't have an issue here."

Benitez also explained that he needs to start rotating the squad to cope with the demands of a congested fixture list. "The problem we had was Chelsea was playing with [the same] 11 players the majority of the games," he said. "We have to change this. Because you cannot carry on – especially now at Christmas time, with a busy schedule – playing the same players all of the time."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week