Chelsea keen to add striker in January transfer window, Vardy unlikely to come
The most obvious need to strengthen is up front, where the strikers - Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and Diego Costa - have collectively scored only eight goals this season, leaving Chelsea horribly exposed in attack.
January can be a difficult month for clubs to sign players with clubs in the middle of title runs or relegation battles and reluctant to sell - but Chelsea will need to bring in at least one striker if the club still has ambitions of finishing in the top six.
Chelsea are likely to move for a proven goal scorer in the Premier League who is not cup-tied in Europe - and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy fits the bill and has been linked to Chelsea this week. Vardy is in sparkling form this season. The 28-year-old leads the Premier League goal scoring charts with 15 goals so far. Earlier this season, he scored in 11 consecutive Premier League games to set a new Premier League record.
The biggest challenge to Chelsea's interest will be Leicester's league position and their genuine chances of qualifying for the Champions League. No club that has been top at Christmas has ever failed to qualify for the Champions League - and Leicester will be conscious that with a weakened Manchester United, they have only Arsenal and Manchester City to contend with in a scarcely believable title race.
Leicester will resist any transfer bids in January for Vardy or fellow star Riyad Mahrez - the prospect of a title race plus Champions League football next season would be enough to keep any player. In addition, Leicester also has the financial means thanks to rising Premier League TV revenues to offer improved wages to their key players - and both Vardy and Mahrez can be expected to sign new contracts before next summer.
Leicester play Liverpool at Anfield on Boxing Day with Vardy expected to return to the starting lineup. Another win will guarantee that Leicester top the table for the weekend, and if Arsenal lose to Southampton later today, Leicester could be top going into the New Year. Under these circumstances a move to Chelsea would be a backward step for Vardy, who is hoping his league form propels him to a key role at Euro 2016 for England.
Chelsea under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink will be hoping to turn around their abysmal season - Chelsea face Watford at home on Saturday before a trip north to play Manchester United on Monday night. Just 11 points off sixth place and a chance at European football next season, Chelsea will need to build on last Saturday's win against Sunderland and hope that United, in their own crisis, are easy opponents on Monday.
If Chelsea's players don't improve, it won't matter who Roman Abramovich signs in January.