Bad boy striker Diego Costa is fighting for his Chelsea future.
Costa has been one of Chelsea’s biggest disappointments in their incredible slump this season, scoring just two Premier League goals.
That has alerted Chelsea’s scouts who are desperately trying to find a new striker for January, especially with Radamel Falcao injured and struggling for form.
Jose Mourinho retains the support of the Chelsea hierarchy and Napoli’s Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain is high on his wish list of potential long term targets – but realistically may only be available in the summer.
Higuain, who played in last year’s World Cup final, has interested Chelsea in the past and they are keeping tabs as a big-money bid may tempt Napoli to sell the ex-Real Madrid star.
That would raise big doubts over Spain international Costa, who was a sensation in his first season but has struggled to live up to expectations since the summer.
At the moment, Costa has no serious competition because Loic Remy has failed to impress Mourinho while the on-loan Falcao has been a disaster.
There are already several Chelsea players sweating on their long-term futures, withJohn Terry and Branislav Ivanovic out of contract at the end of the season.
Real Madrid are keen on playmaker Eden Hazard, and are almost certain to launch a determined effort to sign him in the summer.
But the squad also needs a major overhaul, and if that happens then it is clear that no one is safe from the axe.
Chelsea’s stars are even beginning to doubt whether they can achieve a top four finish — with 12 matches played they sit 13 points behind Manchester United, who currently occupy the final Champions League place.
How that goes may impact upon who they can sign next summer — attracting big names may be tough without Champions League football on offer.
Mourinho is fighting his own future, but so far Chelsea have refused to sack him but it will be interesting to see if they back him in the market.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is on the short-list as a potential candidate and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and ex-Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti could be quick fixes but Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola is the dream appointment.