As supporters are well aware, Chelsea is currently operating under a transfer ban – which is rather inconvenient when the club is also off to something of a slow start, to put it kindly. However, there have been some recent reports hinting that said ban could be lifted for the January window, which means Frank Lampard and Co. are going to be looking to deal.
Feel Chelsea recently took a look at positions of need should the transfer ban lift, highlighting the potential for right-back, centre-back, attacking midfield, and striker acquisitions. Indeed, such moves would be ideal for the Blues. In this piece though, we’ll look not specifically to need, but rather to some of the names that are already beginning to circulate as potential Chelsea targets this coming January.
1 – Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Wilfried Zaha is far and away the biggest name associated with a potential Chelsea transfer at this time, even if said association is more rumour than something seen in evidence. What does seem fairly concrete is that Zaha will be open to options outside of Crystal Palace come January. This has led to a vague link to Arsenal as well, and other clubs will certainly want a shot. However, the fit may be ideal at Stamford Bridge. With Chelsea, Zaha could have an instant offensive impact he might not get the chance to make with Arsenal, which may count for something. He’d be an exciting addition, but again this is a light rumour at best.
2 – Youcef Atal (OGC Nice)
Youcef Atal has emerged as a possible fix on the defensive end, with some rumours appearing to suggest that there’s real interest (as opposed to just analysts connecting dots). For those who don’t pay attention to Ligue 1, it should be noted that Atal has been one of the more consistent right-backs in the competition for some time now. It might not be unwise for Chelsea supports early awaitng the potential January activity to start tracking the scores and stats to get a feel for what Atal brings to the table. Though of course it’s best to tune in and watch him in action if you’re looking to get your hopes up. He’d be a fine addition for Lampard.
3 – Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid)
Achraf is with Real Madrid, but is currently on loan to Borussia Dortmund, where he is primarily a right-back but can play across the defensive line (with some potential to play centre-back if he makes it to London). The latest is that Zinedine Zidane has given Real Madrid permission to sell Achraf to Chelsea come January, if the ban is lifted. That’s not a concrete deal by any means, but it’s certainly nice to hear. He’d be as strong an addition as Atal would be for the defence – and there’s some potential the club could land both.
4 – Luka Jovic (Real Madrid)
Given that we’ve heard about Zidane’s willingness to sell Achraf – but not, specifically, Jovic – this may be more of a long shot for Chelsea. However, there have been fairly clear indications that the forward is interested in joining the Premier League, which could put a deal on the table for discussion. Jovic may not be as familiar to some EPL fans or Chelsea supporters as Zaha, but he’s a very capable attacker who could also improve the Blues’ offense overnight.