Some interesting stuff from Andre Villas-Boas today regarding the January window and what we may or may not be doing. Chelsea have been murmuring about a quiet transfer period for a little while now, but now the boss is talking about expanding beyond the Gary Cahill transfer (which he's pretty much confirmed is happening) to other targets:
Apart from the central defender we might get one more player in, but we're not sure yet. It's always difficult (in January). First of all, the top talent is normally cup-tied in the Champions League, or in the different domestic competitions.
It's difficult for the selling club to make players available. So it's normal to struggle in the transfer market. Normally it's a market where you overpay a lot and that's not what we want to do now. I think that's why we've set out not to do a lot in the transfer window.
-Source: Sky Sports.
Now it's tempting to read that as a list of players we can go after (i.e. not Champions League or FA Cup-tied), but in reality Villas-Boas is simply talking about the general difficulties of January rather than filtering out targets based on whether or not they're cup-tied. He knows just as much as we do that although a deep CL run would be super, the league is what matters to Chelsea right now. The fact that, say, Eden Hazard would be unavailable in Europe having featured for Lille is more or less irrelevant.
What's good to hear is the talk about value. It doesn't take a particularly long memory to recall Chelsea being burned badly in January, and it's not like that doesn't happen to other clubs either. Villas-Boas is completely right to focus on summer window, but that doesn't mean the Blues shouldn't have their eyes open for potential bargains, cup-tied or no.
The manager also talked a little bit about loans:
We don't have a lot of players that we are going to send out on loan. Those conversations were made at the beginning of the season and eventually we went on from that. There were conversations regarding one or two players that went the other way.
If I had to guess, there'll be three - Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta and Patrick van Aanholt. McEachran's been pretty clear that he's been earmarked for a loan spell, and there's no place for van Aanholt with Ryan Bertrand installed as Ashley Cole's primary backup who never ever gets used. Kakuta could be used as an auxiliary wide forward should Salomon Kalou or Florent Malouda leave, but he's yet to demonstrate he can effectively play at the senior level, and I'd be very wary of granting him a place on the squad. A loan deal makes sense there as well.