Chelsea transfer rumours and news: Scott Dann targetted as John Terry replacement; Blues eye Alexandre Pato

The transfer rumours and gossip to come out of Stamford Bridge on the morning of 18 January 2015

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The Independent Football

Chelsea are looking at Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann as a possible long-term successor to captain John Terry. According to the Daily Mirror, the Londoners have sent scouts to watch Dann in almost every match of the season so far as Terry’s career nears its climax at Stamford Bridge. The Blues legend scored a neat last minute equaliser against Everton on Saturday, after scoring a disastrous own goal, to secure a 3-3 result against the Toffees.

Dann, meanwhile, can play on either side at centre-half and has impressed at Selhurst Park under Eagles boss Alan Pardew. Chelsea are believed to have ended their interest in John Stones as Everton refuse to sell their prized asset to another Premier League rival, especially considering their grievances with the Blues’ tactics last summer.

John Terry celebrates scoring a 98th-minute equaliser in the 3-3 draw between Chelsea and Everton

The arrival of a new defender at Stamford Bridge won’t necessarily mean an immediate exit for Terry, however, with The Independent reporting Guus Hiddink wants to offer his skipper a new contract. The Dutchman replaced José Mourinho as manager in December but has struggled to spark a renaissance in fortunes. “If I am asked, I will give my honest opinion about that,” Hiddink said. 

“If I say what I’m saying now, spontaneously out of my heart, then you can imagine what I think. I fully agree [he remains important], not just with his equalising goal, but with his attitude and the actions he did defensively and offensively. His commitment is huge for this team and for the club. For me there’s not much [difference] between John in 2009 and now. For me, you would have to underline that with data.”

Atletico Madrid are opening up to the idea of re-signing disgruntled Chelsea striker Diego Costa, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes. The 27-year-old is suffering a torrid season with the champions since lifting the Premier League title in May, struggling to rekindle his previously emphatic goalscoring form. The Spain international allegedly entered a heated fall-out with ex-manager José Mourinho before the latter was sacked. The report says the La Liga club, who have been hit with a similar transfer ban to the one suffered by Real Madrid, have been forced to rush their business through this month.

Diego Simeone’s men have occasionally lacked leadership this season and the enigmatic boss believes Costa could the man to restore some familiarity into his dressing room. Hiddink, the interim Blues boss, is unlikely to welcome the sale of any of his strikers this winter, even Loic Remy, after bemoaning the situation at Stamford Bridge in the past fortnight. 

Chelsea have held talks with Corinthians about signing Alexandre Pato, report the Daily Telegraph. With Costa and Remy’s futures in the doubt, the Blues are keen to ensure they don’t remain without a recognised striker for the rest of the campaign. The former AC Milan forward has spent much of the last year on loan with São Paulo, scoring 19 goals in 59 appearances. 

Returning to Europe would present the 26-year-old with the opportunity to break back into the Brazil squad where he earned 17 caps, netting ten times, before falling out of favour. Liverpool and Arsenal have been linked with Pato in recent weeks but Chelsea are thought to be the club with the most desire to do a deal.

Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato is being linked with a move to Chelsea

LA Galaxy have offered Blues legend Ashley Cole an immediate escape from his bleak Roma stay as he negotiates a settlement with the Serie A giants. The 35-year-old has barely featured since signing a two-year contract 18 months ago and is actively pursuing a way out of the Stadio Olimpico. According to The Guardian, Major League Soccer outfit Galaxy remain the only side to show interest in Cole as his career draws to a close.

The former Arsenal defender would team up once more with former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, whom he played alongside at international level with England, if he leaves for the United States. Cole played just 11 matches for the Giallorossi last term in his 17th season as a professional footballer, bookending a career which has paid witness to three Premier League triumphs, seven FA Cup successes and a Champions League win in 2012.