Jose Mourinho may part with Hazard or Oscar to fund striker swoop
Chelsea, 7/1 shots for the Premier League title, may be forced into selling star midfielders Eden Hazard or Oscar in order to raise enough money to revamp their forward line.
Tabloid reports claim that Blues boss Jose Mourinho has got the green light from club owner Roman Abramovich to offload all four strikers on their books.
That means summer exits for £50m flop Fernando Torres, veteran Samuel Eto’o, bit part player Demba Ba and on-loan Everton frontman Romelu Lukaku from Stamford Bridge.
Belgium’s Lukaku will not have any difficulty in finding Premier League suitors as the Toffees (5/2 to finish in a Champions League place) want to sign him permanently, but will be rivalled by fellow top-four hopefuls Tottenham (33/1).
Previously, there has been speculation that former Atletico Madrid star Torres could be used as a makeweight to lure current Vicente Calderon scoring hero Diego Costa to Chelsea.
With governing body UEFA looking to toughen up on enforcing Financial Fair Play rules in the seasons ahead, the Blues must start balancing their books more effectively.
Mario Mandzukic, Bayern Munich’s Croatian striker, is another target for Mourinho, as the 7/4 Champions League favourites are bringing prolific Poland international Robert Lewandowski to the Allianz.
Over £70m could be easily raised by selling Brazilian defender David Luiz, and one of compatriot Oscar or Belgian attacker Hazard. Mega rich Ligue 1 leaders and Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final opponents PSG are interested in all three players.
Left back Ashley Cole, who is out of contract at the Bridge at the end of the season, will also be off the wage bill. Southampton’s Luke Shaw is a rumoured target to replace the England centurion.
Should the Blues decide to cash in on Hazard and Oscar, Mourinho could also move for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. They could use Roberto Martinez’s interest in landing Lukaku permanently to storm a march on other rumoured suitors, like Manchester United.
Following their 3-1 defeat at the Parc des Princes, and recent Premier League losses to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace, Coral have opened a special market on Chelsea experiencing late heartbreak.
They are odds-on at 1/7 to miss out on silverware this term, because of the Champions League deficit going into the second leg, and the fact that Manchester City have league games in hand over them.
Mourinho is 8/13 to leave the Bridge before the end of his current contract, which expires in June 2017.