Two stars that lit up the Premier League during spells with Man City and Liverpool could soon be delighting fans on these shores once more, with Chelsea linked to moves for AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli and Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso.
Italian agent Mino Raiola believes his boy Balotelli will be reunited with Blues boss Jose Mourinho after becoming fed-up with life under Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani, whereas Alonso’s contract situation at Real Madrid could see him leave Spain on a free transfer.
The Portuguese has form for resigning players during his time as a coach.
When leaving Porto to take on the role as Blues gaffer for the first time in 2004 Mourinho made sure he took plenty of mementoes of his old employers, with Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Hilario all following their mentor to west London and midfielder Maniche also rocking up at Stamford Bridge on loan soon after.
Carvalho also found his way to the Bernabeu when his favourite gaffer took over Real Madrid and new Blues striker Samuel Eto’o knows all about Mourinho after their treble-winning 2009/10 season at Inter Milan.
Balotelli has scored more league goals than Chelsea’s three strikers combined this season.
Eto’o’s move from Anzhi Makhachkala has not produced the avalanche of net-bulgers some may have expected and between them the Cameroon international, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have managed just two goals in 14 Premier League appearances so far this term.
Meanwhile, despite a recent four-game absence (three of which were enforced by suspension) Balotelli has scored three times in his five Serie A matches in 2013/14 and was also on the mark for Italy in World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Armenia.
Mourinho will look to sign Alonso up to a pre-contract agreement in January with the 31-year-old’s current deal set to expire next summer.
The former Liverpool man was a mainstay in Los Merengues’ first team during Mourinho’s reign in Spain and showed last season that there is life in the old dog yet, with five assists garnered from the 48 goalscoring chances he created in 28 La Liga games.
Alonso has yet to start a match since Carlo Ancelotti took over at the Bernabeu as injury problems have kept him out of contention and with Sami Khedira, Luka Modric and Asier Illaramendi to get past if he wants to reclaim a midfield spot in the Real starting line-up, the Basque may feel his time is up at Madrid.