De Bruyne the dark horse as Chelsea target two new faces

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Andre Villas-Boas insists that no more than two players will be signed by Chelsea in the January transfer window and with Gary Cahill already having one foot in the Stamford Bridge door, the second new recruit looks intriguing.

Chelsea are thought to have had a £7m offer accepted for the England defender by Bolton, although the two parties are still to agree personal terms.

This transfer is still expected to go through, but Chelsea may be best to avoid dwelling on an agreement, with Manchester United and Tottenham believed to be weighing up late swoops.

Villas-Boas has identified another centre back as his biggest necessity in the transfer window, but has not ruled out the prospect of adding a second new face.

It is in midfield where Chelsea are arguably most short of options, but with Michael Essien managing 75 minutes in a reserve game after six months on the sidelines, Villas-Boas may feel he has enough cover in the central areas.

Therefore, a new winger may prove the next top priority, especially with Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou seemingly falling out of favour.

A new winger would also allow Villas-Boas the option of moving Juan Manuel Mata into a more central role to enhance his creativity or Daniel Sturridge into the chief striker role.

Hulk has been one named linked, but his extravagant buy-out clause and the fact he is in no rush to leave Porto make this deal unlikely.

Milos Krasic is another possible signing, but whether he has the all-round game to cut it in the Premier League is a mystery and may be best brought in on loan first before agreeing permanent terms with Juventus.

Therefore, fitting in with Villas-Boas’ policy of signing young players for the future who can be better moulded to play in a certain way, Kevin De Bruyne is perhaps more likely.

Chelsea tried to sign the Genk youngster in the summer without success, but an offer of £8m now could tempt the Belgian club to sell.

These new signings would boost Chelsea’s hopes of finishing in the top four this season, which can be backed at 8/13 in the Premier League odds.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.