Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Blues boss open to more recruitment

Andre Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas has revealed there could still be comings and goings at Chelsea before the transfer window closes.

The Blues have signed only youngsters to date this summer and have so far failed in their efforts to bring Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric to Stamford Bridge. The only player to leave the club, meanwhile, has been Yury Zhirkov, prompting fears the Blues are standing still while their rivals flash the cash.

"We are happy with the squad we have at the moment going into the Stoke game, and we're in maximum condition to bring back the three points," said Villas-Boas ahead of his first competitive game in charge at Stoke on Sunday.

"Nobody in the Chelsea dressing room is under evaluation. We're assessing what we have in the market. We're happy this is what is happening for Stoke."

Villas-Boas, who has been discussing transfer targets with owner Roman Abramovich, added: "This doesn't mean that we won't be adding up to the 31st. That's what we've been discussing throughout with him."

Villas-Boas refused to comment on whether Chelsea had or would make a third bid for Modric after they saw offers of £22million and £27million rejected. He was also coy about his eagerly-anticipated starting XI for Sunday's Barclays Premier League opener, particularly whether Didier Drogba or Fernando Torres would lead the attack.

Torres was expected to be fit despite suffering some memory loss after being concussed in Spain's friendly defeat in Italy on Wednesday. One thing that looks certain is that he and Drogba will not be partnering each other.

"We favour a 4-3-3 formation and that's what we're focusing on," said Villas-Boas.

Should Romelu Lukaku put the finishing touches on his move from Anderlecht, that would give Chelsea a surplus of forwards.

"In the end, that's a sector where we have a lot of options. If we decide to bring more in, or take a decision on the players we have, we will make that decision," said Villas-Boas, who sidestepped the question of whether any of his strikers would now be sold or loaned out.