Five players who could join Chelsea before January window closes

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith 25 Jan 2022 19:53 CET 5 min read
Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona, 2021-22

Chelsea are a club famous for its dealings in the transfer market, and that's certainly not limited to the summer window.

The Blues frequently dip into the January market in order to keep their squad fresh, and these signings have seen mixed success in regards to how well they performed at Stamford Bridge.

Gary Cahill, for example, arrived from Bolton in January 2012, won the Champions League just six months after joining, and went on to captain the team. Fernando Torres, on the other hand, wasn't quite as much of a success story. The Spanish forward may have scored in the Champions League semi-final to seal their place in the aforementioned final, and his goal-scoring record wasn't as bad as you might think, but he didn't hit the heights that were expected of a £50 million man.

Either way, Chelsea have experience of dealing in the winter window, yet they've parked that knowledge to the side this time around. It seems the club are eyeing up a big summer spending spree, with Declan Rice, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Jules Kounde among the names on their wish list.

However, there's still a chance the Blues decide to act in the next week, especially given a short-term replacement for Ben Chilwell still hasn't been found.

But, who could Chelsea sign this January window?

Ousmane Dembele

This is a rumour that has cropped up an increasing amount of times in recent days, and has been fuelled by the fact that Barcelona have told Ousmane Dembele he is free to leave.

The Frenchman's contract at Camp Nou expires in six months time, but the understanding is that he could leave in January if the right offer comes in.

Dembele, a World Cup winner with his nation, has been identified by Newcastle United, but Chelsea are reportedly also in the hunt.

The Barcelona winger worked under Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, and it was with the guidance of Tuchel that Dembele flourished, and he arguably hasn't been the same since, although injuries have played their part.

With his time at Barcelona looking all but over, Dembele is scouting for a new home, and Stamford Bridge could be that place. The move doesn't make sense yet, given Chelsea's wealth of attacking options, but if they're able to offload one or two forwards, the signing of Dembele is a real possibility, even if it happens in the summer.

Ronald Araujo

Yet another Barcelona player who could be on his way out is Ronald Araujo. The highly-rated central defender has reportedly rejected the Blaugrana's latest contract offer, according to Marca, and that has caught Chelsea's attention.

A move may be more likely during the summer window, but given the contract complications of Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, and Andreas Christensen, Tuchel and the Chelsea board may be tempted to fast forward a deal.

With defensive injuries plaguing the Blues this season, having another body in that position could prove pivotal with a tough run-in to play.

Sergino Dest

The third and final Barcelona player on this list is Sergino Dest. Chelsea's full-back crisis has been well-documented, but it's a problem that has seriously hampered their season.

With Ben Chilwell and Reece James out, Chelsea have slipped away from a title race and now appear in a battle to finish inside the top four - something that looked a certainty when December began. Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta have filled in at wing-back, while Malang Sarr has been an able deputy at left-back in a 4-1-4-1, but the drop-off has been massive.

Barcelona defender Sergino Dest

Bearing that in mind, a wing-back has been a top priority for Chelsea this window. Lucas Digne was reportedly the first target, although Tuchel is understood to have rejected a move for the Frenchman, then came the possibility of recalling Ian Maatsen or Emerson Palmeiri from loan. Maatsen was quickly disgregarded, but Emerson has remained a priority for the entirety of January.

They haven't been able to agree a deal with Lyon, and hence a move now seems to be off the table.

Attention quickly turned to Dest, who has been a subtle target bubbling away while Emerson has been pursued.

With the American international not being favoured under Xavi, a move isn't likely to be too difficult, but the sticking point has been whether Chelsea offer a transfer fee, or simply a loan deal.

The Athletic have reported that the Blues are looking at the possibility of a loan move for the centre-back, while the Express say they are preparing a £17m bid.

Either way, the full-back could be on English shores by the time February rolls around.

Borna Sosa

Chilwell's absence has seen Chelsea turn to full-backs across Europe, and their latest target is Stuttgart's Croatian international Borna Sosa.

The 24-year-old registered nine Bundesliga assists last season, and can operate anywhere along the left flank, meaning he also provides cover at left-wing, which Chelsea hardly need, but is a useful quality to have.

With Stuttgart in a relegation battle, they're unlikely to let a star asset leave in the middle of the season, and they've reportedly set a price tag of £25m, according to Sky Germany, which may dissuade Tuchel.

But, if the Chelsea manager wants to return to his favoured 3-4-3 system, then a new left-wing-back is needed this week.

Jules Kounde

Could Jules Kounde finally make the move to Stamford Bridge?

Could Jules Kounde finally make the move to Stamford Bridge?

This is surely one for the summer, but if Sevilla are tempted to let Diego Carlos join Newcastle mid-season during their title fight, then they may hold a similar stance on Jules Kounde.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, a deal between Chelsea, Sevilla, and the player is close, and is expected to be completed this summer. However, the same was said in 2021, yet a move didn't materialise.

The French centre-back has arguably been La Liga's best defender this season, and with the aforementioned defensive injuries at Chelsea, bringing Kounde in six months early could be worth it, especially during the Champions League knockout stages.

Expect a more concerted effort in the summer, however.