Chelsea are in desperate need of boosting their squad before the transfer window closes on September 1 if they are to challenge for the Premier League title once again.
Antonio Conte has spoken about the need for three or more signings, and with Virgil van Dijk also handing in a transfer request at Southampton, the race for defender is hotting up.
However, Jamie Redknapp claims that Chelsea are not desperate for another centre-back, saying on Sky Sports: “But from what I hear Jurgen Klopp is a really big pull for him. He wants to play for Klopp and Liverpool need a centre-back desperately. Chelsea’s need is not as strong and I think he will go to Liverpool.
“But I’m also surprised Manchester City have not gone for him. They must really feel Vincent Kompany can last the season.”
So what is Chelsea’s biggest need from the players they have been linked with so far?
1. Alex Sandro/Ryan Bertrand
Marcos Alonso had a superb season for the Blues during the last campaign, but there is a real lack of depth in that position and lack of options for Conte to choose from.
The fact that both Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses have filled in there during pre-season just goes to prove that and there is no doubt that an upgrade can be made.
Whether it is Sandro or Bertrand, both can offer a decent level of play down the left and it is a crucial, niche position that needs to be filled.
2. Ross Barkley
Barkley has been arguably one of the most talented English players around for the last couple of years, however the 23-year-old has failed to really kick on in his career.
Maybe time under Conte might do that for him and for £35m in today’s market, Chelsea could get an untapped potential that could prove to be a valuable member of the squad.
With the ability to play centre-mid, on the wing or number 10, he could be an asset for the Blues and one that Chelsea should look to target.
3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The versatile Englishmen once again showed in the Community Shield that he could easily fit in Conte’s system and his ability to play in central midfield or right wing-back might just be what the Blues need.
Chelsea are also in desperate need of some homegrown players, which is something that Oxlade-Chamberlain could no doubt help fill as well.
However, it might be a challenge to get him from Arsenal, but he would prove to be a useful acquisition if they could get it over the line.
4. Virgil van Dijk
The race for Van Dijk is certainly hotting up with the fact that the Dutch international has handed in a transfer request to Southampton in search of European football.
Chelsea are going to have to battle Liverpool and Arsenal to sign him, but is he the most important person that Chelsea need to bring in with Antonio Rudiger signed and Andreas Christensen back from his loan spell?
It looks like the 26-year-old might go for around £60m, so the Blues could look to spend the money more wisely with other needs.
5. Gareth Bale
This seems something of a pipe dream in the last few days as rumours ramp up that the Welshman is on his way out of the Bernabeu to make way for the potential incoming of Kylian Mbappe.
Once the world record fee, there is no doubt that Bale would go for a bit less however it is still going to cost some serious money to bring the winger back to England.
Conte has already said he is not interested in a marquee signing, that he just needs more numbers, so the likelihood is his interest in him is not overly high unless he’s handed him on a plate.
6. Danny Drinkwater
Drinkwater seems to be one of Conte’s top targets at the moments, but I struggle to really see what he would bring apart from back-up in the centre of midfield.
There is no doubt that Chelsea need more numbers in that role, but Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain could provide that, with extra cover in other areas as well.
It looks like Drinkwater may well be on the way to the Blues this summer, however it would surely be just a matter of bolstering numbers rather than adding the quality.