AS Roma and Olympique Lyonnais stars on Chelsea radar as defensive midfield area of team earmarked for improvement.
Chelsea must decide whether to sign one of two defensive midfielders this summer as they look to improve the protection to their back four, with John Obi Mikel repeatedly linked with a move to Galatasaray.
The players in question are Maxime Gonalons from Olympique Lyonnais, who has previously been linked with Arsenal, and Daniele De Rossi of AS Roma.
France international midfielder Gonalons has seen his reputation soar across Europe thanks to some great performances and graduation to the senior France side, and it is little surprise that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seems to be following his career closely.
As well as offering a fine screen to the defence, Gonalons is a metronomic passer of the ball, and begins many of Lyon’s attacks after retrieving the ball through a tackle or interception.
Gonalons rather half heartedly committed his future to the Ligue 1 club last week.
“I’ve seen the speculation from afar, followed it on the internet,” he told Goal.com.
“There are lots of rumours, even if certain things are true.
“Playing for a club like Lyon, I know that I am in the public eye, that other big clubs watch us. I know the club have confidence in me and that is important.
“I am concentrating only on OL, but in football anything can happen very quickly.”
De Rossi is another intriguing option for Mourinho at Chelsea, with the midfielder likely to be tempted by a move to the UEFA Europa League winners after missing out on both tiers of European football competition altogether with AS Roma.
The veteran enforcer has enjoyed a lengthy career with the Italian capital side, but apart from the two Coppa Italia victories and single Supercoppa Italiana, he has found himself more often in the position of bridesmaid than bride.
Now 29 years of age, De Rossi could not fail to be frustrated by his five runners-up Serie A campaigns, five Coppa Italia final losses and three Supercoppa Italiana defeats, and the regularity with which Chelsea win trophies makes them a tempting move.
Paris Saint-Germain are also in the running for De Rossi’s signature, according to French source Sports.fr, and are one of the few clubs that could rival Roman Abramovich for spending power.
A bid of between £10m to £15m ought to be enough to buy either player though, with Jose Mourinho required to decide whether to opt for the potential of Gonalons or the ready made talent of De Rossi.