It looks as if this summer will be one in which we're linked to just about everyone. The club need strengthening in just about every area of the pitch, and have some sort of weird fetish that involves collecting as much young talent at the positions they aren't lacking in as they possibly can.
Center back is a clear need for Chelsea, as the depth there is a bit questionable with John Terry beginning to show signs of age. One of the players likely to be linked to us for much of the summer is Eliaquim Mangala, as he's young, talented, and playing for a club that tend to sell if the right offer is made. Mangala had some comments about Chelsea's interest in him yesterday, which can be found below:
"It's flattering because Chelsea are a great club and Mourinho is a great coach."
"I intended to stay in Porto but you never know what will happen in football, especially when big clubs are involved."
"At Porto I play every week and I am involved in the title fight and the Champions League. And that is important to me."
As a player, Mangala would make a great deal of sense for Chelsea to go out and buy. He'd add the sort of young, top of the line talent that we don't currently have at the position aside from David Luiz, and he'd probably be available for the right price.
That price is the problem with this potential deal though, as Porto have become one of the most difficult clubs on the planet to do business with. They've already made a pair of huge sales this summer, so they don't appear to be in a position of financial need. They've also shown an unwillingness to do any deal for less than ridiculous money, meaning many of their top talents have had to go to big spending clubs outside of Europe's elite to further progress their careers.
Because of the Porto factor, I'd be fairly surprised if Mangala actually moved this summer. While I like Mangala as a player, not having to write at all about pointless negotiations with Porto would be just fine by me. It's great news to know we're looking at center backs, I just wouldn't expect this one to end up in London.