Chelsea's already bountiful coffers grew deeper on Friday after fetching a reported £60 million for Oscar. Raking in that amount for a player that found playing time hard to come by is a boon for Antonio Conte and the Blues. Already top of the Premier League at Christmas, putting that money into reinforcing the squad could sew up Chelsea's bid to win the league. Which players could the Blues target with some (or all) of the windfall from Oscar's sale?
Here's a case for five players:
Although Oscar wasn't a starter, he still provided valuable depth for Conte's squad. The Blues will likely look to add a midfielder, and they were linked to the Roma stalwart in the summer in a £33 million deal. The 28-year-old Belgian opted to stay at Roma, but perhaps another overture from the Blues would be too tempting to resist.
Mattia De Sciglio
Chelsea's switch to the 3-4-3 formation has been the key to their Premier League run. The wing backs, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, play a critical role for the Blues, but depth there is a concern. Prising 24-year-old De Sciglio away from AC Milan would be a smart bit of business.
Another midfield option to add to Chelsea's ranks, partnering Verratti alongside N'Golo Kante would be downright unfair. At age 24, Verratti is just hitting his prime and would add a creative element to midfield without sacrificing defensive duties. Nemanja Matic would likely be displaced in that situation, leaving Chelsea a bit exposed aerially ... but they'd probably take that trade. It would also take upwards of £30 million to get PSG to sell Verratti, of course.
Chelsea's defense has been rock solid since switching formations, but you can never have too many center backs. Purchasing a player like the 23-year-old Rudiger might be a luxury buy, but he'd be a valuable addition. Roma play in a 3-4-3 formation, Conte's preferred system, so there wouldn't be much of a learning curve. Even if Rudiger didn't start, he'd provide depth to a crop of center backs that currently boasts John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and coming-off-injury Kurt Zouma as the primary backups. Youth wouldn't be bad and £10 million isn't exorbitant.
Here's one way to blow through the Oscar money (and then some). James has made it clear he's unsure about his future at Real Madrid. Chelsea would have to shell out huge to get him from Los Blancos, and the expectations on him would be astronomical. But imagine a front three of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and James Rodriguez and you can see why it might be worth dropping the coin, even if the price reaches £80 million.
This content is subject to copyright.AFP/Getty Images