Mourinho to turn to Pique to bolster defensive depth at the Bridge

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He may have insisted that he wants to stay in Catalonia, but the press continues to link Barcelona defender Gerard Pique to a move back to the Premier League, with leaders Chelsea atop of the list of potential suitors.

A fee of around £24m has been mooted for the former Manchester United man, as Jose Mourinho plans to bolster his defensive options in January.

Aside from John Terry and Gary Cahill, the Blues are somewhat limited in the senior centre-back ranks, and a strengthening of their options looks necessary in the New Year.

Even more so, captain fantastic, Terry isn’t getting any younger, and at six-years the former England man’s junior, Pique could be the ultimate long-term replacement in the heart of the Stamford Bridge back-line.

The Spaniard has featured eight times for Barcelona this season, and has spoken of how he is “a Barcelona fan” and “wants to stay”, but if the Catalan giants want to sell, and Chelsea put a lucrative offer on the table, he may yet be swayed to move to west London.

Former team-mate Cesc Fabregas has hit the ground running since switching the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge this season, netting a goal, and racking up eight assists in the Premier League.

The ex-Arsenal man could be used to try and convince Pique to end his six year spell in La Liga.

With Mourinho berating his fringe players after they failed to convince against Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup, we could we see the ‘Special One’ dip his toes in the transfer market during January’s window.

Next up for the Blues is a local derby against QPR, for which they are priced up at 1/6 for victory that would stretch their unbeaten competitive run to 16 games.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.