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Chelsea may be European champions but they have still been without a Premier League title for four years.
No one has been able to break Manchester City and Liverpool's duopoly since 2018 but after beating Pep Guardiola’s Citizens in the Champions League final last month, Thomas Tuchel is certainly shifting the power.
The German tactician is getting the best out of his current crop, but it will likely need supplementing to mount a serious title charge.
Owner Roman Abramovich has never been shy in splashing the cash when the time is right and will be aware of the opportunity to capitalise on the momentum created by Tuchel’s January arrival.
Here, Mirror Football looks at five players who could be in blue at Stamford Bridge next season.
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Hakimi is one of Europe's most productive defenders
(Image: CARMELO IMBESI/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
After winning the Italian title last season, Inter Milan find themselves in a difficult financial predicament, with numerous key players linked with moves away in order to recoup funds.
One of those potential outgoings is wing-back Hakimi, who would slot in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 formation nicely and earlier this month, Chelsea reportedly matched Paris Saint-Germain’s bid of £56.1m for the Moroccan – still under the asking price.
The 22-year-old made his name as a flying full-back at Borussia Dortmund, contributing to more than his fair share of goals as a defender by trade.
Inter only bought Hakimi last summer but struggled to even pay Real Madrid the initial fee, so could be looking to offload him despite racking up seven goals and eight assists in Serie A last term.
With a second bid reportedly being prepared, things could move quickly.
Haaland is in demand across Europe after yet another sensational season
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
From a former Dortmund star to a current one, and every club would love to have Haaland on their books.
The 20-year-old is said to have a £68m release clause next summer, but rumours have recently emerged that Chelsea are willing to negotiate this summer and Ian McGarry of The Transfer Window Podcast recently claimed personal terms have been agreed between the player and club.
Of course, from the Jadon Sancho and Manchester United saga, we know how difficult BVB can be in spite of any other agreements.
Should Chelsea go for Haaland this summer or wait another year? Comment below.
Chelsea could have an advantage over other potential suitors, though, as Haaland recently revealed in an interview with Icon magazine, cited by The Telegraph : “That's my big dream: to win the Champions League one day. Hopefully, I can lift that trophy and that really would be, well, amazing.”
You certainly know where to go if you want to look at the trophy, Erling.
Traore joins Cesar Azpilicueta in Spain's squad for Euro 2020
(Image: Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)
As well as looking abroad, Chelsea could scour the Premier League this summer and as Wolverhampton Wanderers begin a new era, Traore may well be available.
Despite having used Azpilicueta and Reece James on the right-hand side during the latter stages of the 2020-21 campaign, it seems Tuchel is keen on bolstering that flank with new blood.
Traore, like Hakimi, is more proficient attacking than defending, having developed as a winger while at Barcelona in his youth and is known for his powerful dribbles and direct approach.
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However, Nuno Espirito Santo’s evolution of the Spain international into a wing-back means he’d be suited to the system at Stamford Bridge.
At 25, Traore’s best years could still lay ahead of him and reports suggest Leeds are the only side rivalling Chelsea’s interest at present, although the men from Molineux won't let him go on the cheap.
Saul helped Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title this past season
(Image: Getty Images)
A compatriot of the Wolves winger, Atletico’s Saul is another continental hot property.
The centre-midfielder, capable of playing various roles with his ability going both ways, is said to be unhappy under Diego Simeone and the Wanda Metropolitano club would be willing to sell the Spaniard for £68m.
Although Manchester United have been more heavily linked to securing Saul’s signature along with Juventus, the Blues have been labelled as interested.
Thanks to the likes of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, Chelsea’s midfield department may be the envy of most other clubs, but signing the left-footed Atletico man would still seem like good business if Tuchel can incorporate him.
Teammates next term? Lacroix clashed with Haaland twice over the last Bundesliga campaign.
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
As certainly the least-known player on this list, Lacroix could be one of the world’s big-name defenders in the coming years after a sensational season with Wolfsburg.
The 21-year-old Frenchman was a stalwart at the Volkswagen Arena as he helped his side return to the Champions League with a fourth-place finish while boasting the second-best defensive record in the Bundesliga.
With other German top-flight teams said to be interested, there could be a bidding war for the 6ft 2in centre-back, but Wolfsburg's sporting director, Marcel Schafer, recently told Kicker : “I assume that he will continue to play for us.
“He can take another big step in his development with us in the Champions League.”
Lacroix might fancy heading to the holders, though.