Roman Abramovich came to Chelsea with big plans and ambitions and has rarely shied away from opening his wallet to fund those dreams. The Blues have spent enormous sums of money in the recent past - all of the top 10 transfers into the club have been since the Russian billionaire took over, with Spaniard Fernando Torres and Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko leading the way with valuations of £50 million and £30.8 million, respectively.
Chelsea could be set to spend big again, after a report in the Daily Mail suggested the club's long-term striking target, Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi, could be available after a falling-out with club president Aurelio de Laurentiis. However, the Italian outfit has slapped a £28 million price tag on the Argentine forward and given that the Blues have also been linked, according to an earlier IBTimes UK report, with a £40 million bid for FC Porto's Brazilian striker Hulk, it remains to be seen if Abramovich will spend close to £70 million on strikers.
There are a number of other positions that do need to be strengthened, particularly in the wing-back and central midfield areas and given that £50 million signing Fernando Torres finally seems to be recovering from a horrendous slump in form, Abramovich may baulk at signing more forwards.
Lavezzi and his striking partner, Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, have been the subject of transfer speculation from Chelsea for quite some time and a report, earlier this year, in the Metro quoted de Laurentiis as refusing to part with stars unless the offer was truly insane.
"We are not using our players for the transfer market. But if some crazy guy wants to put down £100 million, then, maybe," the president was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, according to another report by the Daily Mail, Chelsea could face competition for Lavezzi and maybe even Cavani, after rumours suggested Manchester City could also be interested. Indeed, in an even earlier filed report, by the Daily Mail, de Laurentiis absolutely ruled out any possibility of a transfer. Following those statements, in an April report, Cavani moved to deny any possible transfer out of the club, insisting he was happy where he was.
"Coach Walter Mazzarri has done some fine work here by creating a great squad and the club are doing some excellent things," Cavani was quoted as saying by ESPN, "We are still targeting the very top and I think we'll be able to go really far next season."
Lavezzi, meanwhile, apart from confirming in a 2008 report by Metro, that he knew of interest from Chelsea, has made no statements.
Cavani and Lavezzi have had an excellent season so far, combining to score 32 goals in Serie A alone and helping fire the club to third in the league and stay in contention for Champions League football next season.