Good afternoon Blues and welcome to Monday’s edition of Chelsea Fresh – where we take a look at the latest Chelsea news, transfer rumours and anything else surrounding the Stamford Bridge club.

As the players continue to play throughout this international break and endure mixed fortunes for their Countries, the transfer rumours are fuelling and doing the rounds once again.

It’s the defender saga that is the main talking point right now. As January draws closer, Manager Jose Mourinho is adamant about bringing in a top class centre back to the club with the two main targets remaining to be Marquinhos from PSG and John Stones from Everton.

While the English press make fresh claims that Chelsea will make another offer for Stones nearing £40 million in the new year, Marquinhos has attracted interest from Barcelona, who also look like signing Paul Pogba from Juventus ahead of Chelsea.

Everton will keep a stronghold on Stones but it all depends on how much he wants the move away from Goodison and how hard he tries to force that through. Marquinhos however will no doubt be interested by the Spanish giants. January could prove once again to look like a desperate time for Chelsea’s negotiators. One thing for sure is that they need to win matches in the Premier League in order to establish themselves as a front runner once again and be appealing for new players.

Meanwhile – William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon has also been a midfield target for Chelsea and is likely to move away from his club in January. However, the 23-year old Portuguese international has spoken of his admiration for Arsenal, who are also interested in signing him.

Rated at £25 million, Carvahlo has said that if he does leave Portugal, then Arsenal is a club he has always been fond of, due to being a big fan of Thierry Henry and watching him as a youngster.

Dani Alves has revealed that he advised his former club team mate Pedro not to join Chelsea or Manchester United, despite Pedro himself saying how happy and more confident he is feeling since joining Chelsea this season.

Alves claims that too many people got involved in the deal and had Pedro of stayed at Barcelona, he would have been happy. Well Mr Alves, I’m not so sure that I agree with those statements. Pedro will be a hugely important player for Chelsea this season, one of the key men – something he will never have had at Barcelona again.

Finally, we have to mention it as it has made some of the more reputable press sources in the UK and could possibly have some substance to it. Apparently Chelsea have lined up Atletico Madrid Manager Diego Simeone as a replacement for Jose Mourinho, should he not turn things around at The Bridge.

It will however cost Chelsea £15 million to meet the buyout clause in the former Argentina International’s contract but the plan is in place just in case, and apparently Mourinho is well aware of this plan that was put to him during last week’s crisis talks.

That’s it for now Blues but don’t forget to follow my Twitter here for the latest Chelsea news -> @cfcneteditor

Simon Phillips – News Editor – CFCnet