Goal-shy Chelsea Look to Bolster Their Attacking Options

Chelsea will attempt to make January signings to help drag the club out of their malaise, despite Jose Mourinho reiterating that he has no right to ask for new players after the latest defeat.

Published: 07th December 2015 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2015 07:58 AM   |  A+A-


Chelsea players hug teammate Diego Costa, center left, after he scored 3-0 during the Champions League group G soccer match between Chelsea and Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. | AP Photo

Chelsea will attempt to make January signings to help drag the club out of their malaise, despite Jose Mourinho reiterating that he has no right to ask for new players after the latest defeat.

The manager took training yes-terday (Sunday), following the defeat against Bournemouth, and he is preparing his side for their vital Champions League game against Porto on Wed-nesday, having yet to be informed of a change to his position by the club's owner, Roman Abramovich.

However, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will allow Mourinho the final say on targets or, instead, pursue players the club believe would be good signings, with the future of the Portuguese again looking uncertain.

While Mourinho was effectively told - in the statement released in October with the intention of backing him - that he had to turn around Chelsea's season with the players he had, there is an acceptance that the squad would be boosted by the -arrival of one or two new faces.

Chelsea are determined not to panic-buy or cast aside their careful transfer plans, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the club need to add to their attacking -options and would benefit from a new defensive player either in midfield or at the back.

In terms of attacking players the club's technical director, Michael Emenalo, has been assessing the Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, West Bromwich Albion's Saido -Berahino and the Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira. Mourinho, however, may prefer to bid for a more recognised star such as Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain, while he knows the free agent Emmanuel Adebayor well from their spell together at Real Madrid.

The obvious quandary surrounds how long Mourinho will be around to work with any players Chelsea try to sign. There are no long-term guarantees over his position and a defeat against Porto and elimination from the Champions League would place enormous pressure on his shoulders. Mourinho's admission that Chelsea may not be able to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season will also come into the club's -thinking as they decide the type of players they attempt to sign.

Missing out on the Champions League would cost the Blues at least pounds 40?million and, while increased television revenue and various commercial deals will help to soften the blow, that will need to be accounted for.

Chelsea could boost their January funds by selling Juan Cuadrado to Juventus in a permanent pounds 16?million deal and create space on the wage bill by allowing Radamel -Falcao to cut short his loan spell if an interested club can be found.

A blank against Bournemouth, whose only previous clean sheet away from home this season had come against Hartlepool in the -Capital One Cup, meant that Chelsea have now scored just one goal in their past four Premier League games.

While Mourinho once again insisted that he would not ask Abramovich for new signings, his assessment that the team's goalscoring problems was down to individuals suggested he believed that the club should invest in a new forward.

"Scoring goals is a lot about individuals," the Chelsea manager said. "The creation's collective, but the finishing's something very indi-vidual. We didn't score against Stoke or Tottenham. We scored one goal to beat Norwich. It's difficult for us to score goals."

Diego Costa once again started on the substitutes' bench for the visit of Bournemouth and looked more likely to earn a red card than add to his meagre tally of four goals this season after he was introduced for the second half.

Eden Hazard was one of Chelsea's better players, but it is 25 games since he last scored for Mourinho's team. Willian is the club's top scorer with six goals, but none has come from open play, while Pedro Rodriguez, Oscar and Falcao have one apiece in the Premier League.

Chelsea's best hope of a goal against newly-promoted Bourne-mouth came in the form of a penalty appeal that was incorrectly ignored by referee Michael Jones after -Costa's low cross clearly hit the arm of the sliding Simon Francis.

Returning goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was partly at fault for the 82nd-minute goal that condemned Chelsea to their eighth Premier League defeat of the season and means that they are 14 points behind the fourth-placed Man-chester United and only two above the relegation zone.

The Belgian failed to punch a Stanislas corner away from danger and Steve Cook hooked the ball back towards goal for the substitute Glenn Murray to nod in after only being sent on 99 seconds earlier.

Chelsea's loyal fans, who have effectively saved Mourinho up to this point with their continual chanting of his name, loudly booed their disapproval at the final whistle with Abramovich watching from his seat.

Losing games is bad enough for Mourinho, but losing the Stam-ford Bridge fans would almost certainly spell the end.

Nemanja Matic agreed with Mourinho's admission that the gap between Chel-sea and fourth place may now be too wide for them to claw back. The mid-fielder said: "We are in a difficult moment, in a difficult situation, so it's going to be hard to come back from this, but we have to try to resolve this problem, we have to go hard and try to recover."

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