Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will have a problem when January comes around.
The Blues are set to lose both Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech in the New Year as they head off to play for Senegal and Morocco in the African Cup of Nations.
Fortunately for Chelsea, they are blessed with some incredible squad depth, but the January transfer window presents an opportunity for the west Londoners to bolster their options.
Chelsea have the fourth biggest financial fair play allowance, according to Kieran Maguire – a football finance expert – in a report on the Daily Mail, with the Blues having £241million to spend.
So, with that being said, football.london takes a close look at who Chelsea could bring to the club in the January transfer window as they look to fill the void of their absent African players.
The 23-year-old was wanted by Chelsea throughout the summer transfer window and it remains to be seen whether the Blues will reignite their interest in the Sevilla central defender.
While Chelsea have an array of centre-back options at their disposal already, Tuchel may be looking to add to his squad, due to the contract situations of four defenders.
Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger all see their contracts expire at the end of the season.
Sevilla director Monchi confirmed in August that Kounde has an €80million (£68million) release clause in his contract at the Spanish club.
“The only written, formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday, around 5pm,” he said. “We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.
“We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night. We all decided that it was best Jules didn’t travel to Elche. It’s normal for players to be affected by news of any kind. Last year he had the interest from City and now Chelsea this year.
Rice is a long-term target for Chelsea, with the West Ham United midfielder continuing to flourish in the Premier League this season.
However, the England international is set to cost around £100million, with the Hammers reportedly placing the triple-digit price tag on the midfielder’s head.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham at the weekend, Tuchel spoke about Rice, fuelling speculation over his future at the London Stadium.
“I am absolutely aware that he is a Chelsea boy and he comes through the academy and he is very close to our guys,” the Blues head coach said.
“He’s a very strong player and in general, I am absolutely impressed by (Tomas) Soucek and him, what they do since I came into the Premier League. What they do for West Ham.”
According to recent reports from Italy, Chelsea are preparing an €84million (£72million) offer for Chiesa.
The Juventus attacker has reportedly been watched on numerous occasions by Chelsea scouts, with the Blues a big admirer of the Italian winger.
The 24-year-old could act as an ideal replacement for Ziyech while he is taking part in the African Cup of Nations – and the Morocco international continues to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea can buy Chiesa for £72million, on top of the £100million and £68million for Rice and Kounde, respectively, this adds up to a total of £240m.