There is the big issue of a lack of creativity in Chelsea's midfield. Juan Mata has carried the bulk of the playmaker responsibility this season but it is unrealistic to expect him to play that role, and well, for over 50 games a season. The spaniard is much more comfortable when playing as a LW and would play even better than he currently is (if that is even possible) if there was a little less pressure on his shoulders. Modric would have been the ideal candidate at the start of the season but the price tag of over 40 million pounds he would simply cost too much. We also need to consider that the UEFA Fair Play rules are coming in over the next 3 seasons and there is a much larger need for us to be tight pursed (considering the spending last season: Torres, Mata). With Malouda likely leaving at the end of this season, there will be 1 non home grown place in the squad for a midfielder.
Yoann Gourcuff may not be the first name on everybody's minds but it is one that should be considered. While Gourcuff has struggled over the last 2 seasons, since making the move from Bordeaux to Lyon, there is undoubtedly an immense amount of talent still there. The frenchmen has been consistently chased by Arsenal since he broke onto the scene at a young age with Rennes with the Gunners even attempting to take him on loan this season. He would have been the perfect person to fit the role of the departed Fabregas, which is exactly what Chelsea need for next season. Gourcuff has a great range of passing, technique and flair while rarely getting caught out with it though. Standing 6f1, it could also be argued that he has a frame that is suited to the physicality of the premier league.
Gourcuff's relationship with Chamakh, at Bordeaux, was incredible to watch as they developed almost a telepathic connection. Since Chamakh's move to Arsenal 2 seasons ago, he has struggled to replicate the form that he was showing at Bordeaux without the french midfielder behind him. The thought of a similar understanding with Torres is something to make most Chelsea fans salivate a little bit. Torres thrived the most, during his time at Liverpool, when Gerrard was almost playing as a 2nd striker behind the number 9. Mata has been tried in that position but it has not seem to be the perfect fit that everybody was hoping for.
You could call me a bit of a Gourcuff fan boy but this is definitely the best goal I have ever seen. His control, composure and finishing ability are incredible.
Considering that Gourcuff has struggle with injuries and form since moving to Lyon, he could be available for a cheaper price. A loan with option to buy, for something in the region of 15 million euros, would be a great option for Chelsea. Lyon, however, rejected a loan option from Arsenal this season and possibly would prefer to sell, if they were going to let him go at all.
One of the reasons why Dortmund have been able to secure the Bundesliga so 'easily' this season, especially considering Gotze has been injured for large parts of it, has been Shinji Kagawa. The young japanese attacking midfielder has been in scintillating form this season with 16 goals and 10 assists so far. Kagawa also prefers to play in the 2nd striker or a free roaming role. He has gone from strength to strength this season with his passing, composure and finishing all developing extremely well in the Bundesliga. While you would consider him to be a small player, standing just 5f7, he is thriving in the german league, which is similar to the EPL in its physicality.
The style that Kagawa has been playing at Dortmund is similar to that which Chelsea has been trying to progress towards with and emphasis on crisp fast passing and defenders playing the ball out of defense. He would be an important cog in helping the transition from the counter attacking style, that was so successful under Mourinho, to a more 'beautiful' and fluid style. With such a promising crop of youngsters, it would be helpful to start developing a positive relationship with Dortmund. Kagawa would also help Chelsea to make a stronger push into the Asian market. The club has been trying to increase its supporter base in Asia and the purchase, of arguably the best asian player at the moment, would be a great financial boost for the club in sales and membership.
Dortmund, while not keen to sell the young blue samurai, are resigned to lose him this summer as he will have only 12 months to go on his contract and has expressed an interest in moving to the english premier league. Kagawa has been rumored to be available for 10-15 million euros which would be a bargain compared to the 40 million needed to secure the likes of Hazard or Modric.
There are definitely a few other targets out there that Chelsea are chasing : Eden Hazard, Cheick Tiote, Axel Witsel...etc, however all of the transfer fees would be in excess of 25 million euros. Dont get me wrong, I would still love to have any of those in the team as well, but I feel like the club needs to be more aware of the great deals that are out there (Ozil anybody?).
A view from down under. Chelsea fan in Australia.