Chelsea are considering a January move for Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho, according to the Daily Star.
The Blues are expected to spend heavily in the January transfer window and the potential departure of England international Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for £12m is likely to free a space for Atletico Madrid's £48m-rated Radamel Falcao.
The Blues' pursuit of Falcao has now become an open secret, particularly with the fact the club have no senior strikers to cover for Torres. And with the potential departure of Sturridge, a top-class forward is an almost certain arrival at Stamford Bridge.
The club's rumoured move for Moutinho comes on the back of a long-term injury to Spanish midfielder Oriel Romeu (knee surgery) and the loss of Nigerian international John Obi Mikel to the 2013 African Cup of Nations. In addition, veteran Frank Lampard seems likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, necessitating the signing of a long-term option.
The 26 year old Moutinho had an excellent summer with his national team, during the 2012 European Champions, and was key in their run to the semi final. And the player continues to enjoy fine form in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
The Daily Star also claims Chelsea are considering Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini as an alternative option; the Blues were linked to the player earlier in the season as well. The Belgian was quoted as saying he wanted to leave Goodison Park for Champions League football but potential suitors were warned off by manager David Moyes. Since then, the player has confirmed he will remain with the Toffees for the season, meaning any potential move is likely to happen only next summer.
Fellaini has had a fantastic season in the Premier League so far, notching eight goals and three assists from 15 appearances.
Peltier Backs Benitez
Meanwhile, Leeds United captain Lee Peltier has backed Rafael Benitez to find success at Stamford Bridge, despite opposition from a huge section of the Chelsea supporters.
The defender, who worked under Benitez at Liverpool, is confident the Spaniard will not let himself be affected by the Blues fans' jeers.
"I'm sure Rafa can handle the Chelsea flak. He's been around a long, long time and I'm sure he won't let that get to him," Peltier told the Guardian.
"I worked under Rafa for quite a while and he gave me my Liverpool debut, so I've got a lot of respect for him. He's one of the top managers out there, he's won a lot of things and he has great experience," he added.