Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is planning a ruthless overhaul of his squad ahead of the new season but warns he cannot improve his squad sufficiently to win the Premier League title this term.
The Blues' defeat 1-0 by Crystal Palace on Saturday saw Liverpool go top of the Premier League with six games remaining, with Mourinho ruling his side out of the title race.
And the Chelsea boss, who has throughout the campaign targeted winning the league next term, is already planning for the summer transfer window during which he wants to overhaul his squad.
"I think it is clear in everybody that Chelsea next year wants to bring a striker," Mourinho said. "That is clear but it is also clear that we want to improve our players.
"I can't, and I don't, need to improve [Gary] Cahill, [Branislav] Ivanovic, John Terry. I can't improve them and I don't need to improve them.
"But there are other guys I need to improve. I think we are doing that step by step but it is not enough to be champions."
"The ones [strikers] that are staying are competing with the striker we are bringing," the 51-year-old added.
"And it is also sometimes normal that, at the end of the season, players – I am not speaking about the strikers but players that are not playing a lot or are not happy and prefer a change - that is part of the market.
"We want to improve the team and the players and make some surgical movements in the transfer window."
Captain Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Samuel Eto'o, Henrique Hilario and Mark Schwarzer are all out of contract this season while David Luiz, John Obi Mikel and Demba Ba's peripheral role could see them depart in the off-season.
The future of Belgian trio Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Thorgan Hazard, who have each spent multiple seasons on loan from Chelsea, are all in doubt also with Mourinho refusing to confirm their involvement.
The club currently have 20 players out on loan across Europe but are continually linked with bringing in new players in the transfer window, with Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa a reported target.