Chelsea’s Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid did draw some positives, as the Premier League club were able to take a closer look at two of their main summer transfer targets in Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
While Jose Mourinho’s desire to bring Costa to Stamford Bridge has been widely reported, a move for Felipe could spell the end for long-serving left-back Ashley Cole, with the England international’s contract up for renewal in the summer.
Reports claim that a £16.5m offer could be lodged for the Brazilian, and would suggest that the club are making a Plan B should number one target Luke Shaw join Manchester United, with the competition for the highly-rated Southampton defender increasing by the day.
Both Chelsea and United are keen on adding a left-sided defender in the summer due to both Cole and Patrice Evra seeking a new club at the end of the season should they fail to agree an extension.
With a move for Costa rumoured to be near completion – giving Mourinho the goalscoring striker he has craved this season – the Blues’ transfer attentions can begin to search elsewhere as the Portuguese tinkers with the side he inherited last year.
Should they complete the signing of Filipe and Costa, they could have three current Atletico players in their ranks next season with the expected return of goalkeeper Thibault Courtois, who is coming to the end of his third straight year on loan with the Champions League finalists.
Any move for Costa would require the Blues to cough up £31.5m to trigger his release clause, although a summer clear-out is expected as Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba could all move on to pastures new. That would open up the possibility of having Costa and Romelu Lukaku, who is currently out on loan with Everton, to choose from with another striker likely to come in to give Mourinho his desired attacking options.
One striker being touted with a possible switch to south-west London is Mario Mandzukic. The 28-year-old is reportedly considering a move away from Bayern Munich due to the imminent arrival of Robert Lewandowski, who has already agreed a deal to join Bayern at the end of the season from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Read more: Luiz admits 's***' season if Blues don't win a trophy
Rui Faria given six-match stadium ban
Mandzukic has been rotated this season with Germany international Thomas Muller and at is believed to be considering an exit from the Allianz Arena, having joined the Bavarian club in 2012 from fellow German side Wolfsburg.
Another striker on Mourinho’s wish list is Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, although again the Blues are expected to face stiff opposition from United should the Uruguayan become available. Cavani only joined the Parisian club from Napoli last season, but he has become frustrated with playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, having been shifted out onto the wing on occasion as the Swedish superstar leads the line of attack through the middle.
Any move would cost around £60m due to PSG’s record outlay of £54m for his services last year, and they are in no position to be rushed on an exit as the Uruguay international still has four years to run on his current deal.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies