With the January transfer window closed, we have decided to take a closer look at the players who were closely linked with a move to Chelsea and were at some point (according to the reports from the media) close to a move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea may not have signed any player in last month's transfer window but this mainly down to the fact that the club had a busy transfer window in August, before the season started. They brought in a lot of high profile players so strengthening the team last month was not really needed. However, a lot of players were still linked with the blues during the course of last month's transfer window. Players like Erling Haaland, Declan Rice, David Alaba, Upamecano and Ac Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donaruman. None of these moves materialized but going by the news from the media, it's safe to say that a few of them were close to being agreed (or atleast in principle ahead of next summer). The last player to be signed by Chelsea in a January transfer window was Christian Pulisic. The then 19 year old agreed to move to West London but he had to play out the rest of the season at Dortmund then move to Stamford Bridge right after the season had ended.
Here we take a look at 3 players who could have followed in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic and agreed a deal in principle with Chelsea ahead of a summer move....
1. Erling Braut Haaland.
This was one of the top stories during the whole of last month. If you are not a steady follower of the rumours from the football media, you will be forgiven for actually thinking that Erling Haaland has sealed a move to Stamford Bridge. His pictures circulated on the internet like wild fire and at a point, he was even photoshopped into a Chelsea kit. The truth was that Chelsea were indeed interested in bringing the Norwegian to Stamford Bridge and a move last January seemed very likely. However, they couldn't agree a deal in principle with Borrusia Dortmund because the 'Frank Lampard saga' threw a spanner in the works.
The change of manager meant that Chelsea had to stall any move in the transfer market and focus on the team at that moment. Lampard was a huge admirer of Haaland when he was Chelsea's manager and luckily for Chelsea, Tuchel is as well. Maybe if the blues had pressed forward with a bid for Haaland, he may just be in the books of the West Londoners as we speak. Another story of 'what could've been'. All hope is not lost however as Chelsea are still leading the race for Erling Haaland ahead of the summer transfer window.
2. David Alaba.
From nearly agreeing a move to Real Madrid to being on Chelsea's radar, David Alaba's name had quite the time in the media. The Bayern Munich stalwarts contract will be coming to an end in the summer and few months before the end of last year, it was believed that Bayern Munich could cash in on their veteran rather than allow him to leave on a free. That was when the Chelsea links surfaced and the blues were believed to be leading the race. However, David Alaba did not leave as expected and he will be free to join another club on a free at the end of the season.
Alaba has a great CV with winning the champions league twice with Bayern Munich during his stay at the Allianz Arena on top of the pile. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is widely known to be an admirer of the Austrian defender, so his influence could have been crucial to bringing Alaba to Stamford Bridge. I sincerely believe that if Chelsea had made an offer for Alaba, then Bayern Munich would have been tempted to sell. But instead, Chelsea only tabled a contract offer directly to Alaba. He is yet to agree to a contract with the blues but as rumours in the media go, Alaba could join in no distant time.
3. Declan Rice.
The closest of them all to joining Chelsea. Infact if Kante or Jorginho had left as expected, Declan Rice could've been a Chelsea player as we speak. Lampard held the 22 year old highly and wanted to add him to Chelsea's growing squad prior to his (Lampard's) sack. All the English media like sky sports, Goal and the likes had reported of a concrete Chelsea interest in Declan Rice but now that Lampard is no longer in charge, the interest is dead as reported by the media. This mark's a huge 'what could've been' for Chelsea.
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