Who could Jose Mourinho be targeting to lead the line at Chelsea?

Warren Little

We didn't buy a striker in January, meaning we will probably do so this summer. Who could that striker be?

By now we all know that Chelsea didn't add a striker in January. Jose Mourinho repeatedly told us not to expect reinforcement up front until the summer, and sure enough, we'll all have to deal with a few more months of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o, and Demba Ba. Yuck.

This summer will likely bring the departures of at least two of those options, as well as the recall of Romelu Lukaku. Mourinho has still hinted at a major signing at the position though, which got me thinking about who that could be. Here are a few players that came to mind.

Diego Costa

Costa tends to divide the fanbase, with some thinking he'd be an excellent option while others thinking we should be focusing our attention elsewhere. The player has a 38.5 million buyout, and if you feel the 25 year old would be a top player in the Premier League, it's hard to argue with the price.

Mario Balotelli

The Italian is someone we're probably all familiar with, as he spent 2 1/2 seasons being one of the most colorful characters in the Premier League. A player of his age with the sort of tools and ability he possesses is a very hard thing to find, but his regular bouts with insanity make him a somewhat risky proposition.

Radamel Falcao

On the surface, this one makes very little sense. Falcao just made a big money move that sees him paid an insane wage, and Monaco would appear to be a club on the rise. Add in the ACL injury and questions about his true age, and he's probably not a good guy for Chelsea to be targeting.

Monaco won't be compliant with FFP, so there's always a chance that the club will look to move some assets depending on the sanctions handed down. That's probably the only scenario where Falcao would be available at a semi-reasonable price.

Edinson Cavani

Like Falcao, Cavani makes very little sense for Chelsea unless UEFA hand out heavy sanctions. PSG will also be subject to an increased tax rate for the next several season, making Cavani someone that would be hard to keep around if UEFA comes down on them hard.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

See Cavani, but in a 33-year old body and on a considerably higher wage

Edin Dzeko

Like Monaco and PSG, Manchester City will likely be in trouble with FFP. They also have a glut of attacking options at the moment, the rest of whom are either younger than Dzeko or on a considerably lower wage (or both). If City decide they need to sell over the summer, Dzeko will likely be the one to go.

Whether or not City would even entertain selling to Chelsea is a matter for debate, but the London club are probably one of the few on the planet that could reasonably afford to take on Dzeko at his current wage.

Wayne Rooney

This one is looking increasingly unlikely, especially with the rumors that there is a ridiculous new contract offer on the table. Until he signs that deal, however, he'll be linked with Jose Mourinho.

Mario Mandzukic

The Croatian forward wouldn't seem to be someone Bayern Munich should be willing to part with, but there have been some problems between Mandzukic and Pep Guardiola of late. The addition of Robert Lewandowski this summer could make the player available, and he'd seemingly fit the profile that Jose Mourinho is looking for.

Gonzalo Higuain

It's hard to picture Napoli overly motivated to move Pipita, but Rafa Benitez seems to be doing everything in his power to assure they don't have Champions League money next season. The rest of the 'contenders' for the final place seem to be equally inept though, and it's hard to picture Napoli selling one of their best players without missing the competition.

That said, Rafa has been known to turn over rosters faster than just about any other manager on the planet. Who knows which Napoli players will be leaving next summer.

Jackson Martinez

The Porto forward has been in fine form since arriving in Europe to replace Radamel Falcao. With a buyout that's not entirely unreasonable, he's probably going to be linked with Chelsea until they sign somebody else. Personally, I don't think he's an option we'll seriously entertain, but I'd have hoped the same could have been said about Fernando Torres as well.

Christian Benteke

Like Martinez, this one seems like a long shot. Benteke is awfully similar to what we already have in Romelu Lukaku, and he just signed a contract extension with Aston Villa. He was reported to be of interest to Chelsea this summer though, and while the guy who reported that didn't have a very good track record with Chelsea stories at the time, he's been on a bit of a roll of late.

Luis Suarez

Nobody in the media really knows what the details of the Uruguayan's new contract are, and how the rumored buyout clause works. It's not likely that he's going to be a legitimate option for Chelsea unless UEFA turn FFP into a joke, but he's probably worth mentioning until Liverpool actually qualify for the Champions League.

These are only a handful of options that could potentially be available this summer. While I'd bet good money that Jose Mourinho's preferred target has been covered above, it's always possible that somebody else has caught his eye. Let us know who your preferred target would be by voting in the poll, and feel free to discuss that preference in the comment section below.

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