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."

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices