Guus Hiddink has ruled out allowing Loic Remy to leave Chelsea this month and has dropped a huge hint that he would like to sign a new striker.
Chelsea have Diego Costa, Remy and Radamel Falcao as their three strike options, but a combination of form and fitness issues mean none of them have convinced for any prolonged period.
Costa has shaken off a bruised knee to be fit to start Wednesday’s Premier League clash with West Brom, while Remy could be in the squad following a calf problem. It is uncertain when Falcao will return from his thigh injury.
“We must not go into this danger if something happens with one or two strikers,” Hiddink said.
According to The Times, Chelsea are considering bids for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, West Brom’s Saido Berahino and Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez – and could offer a short-term contract to Emmanuel Adebayor if they fail to secure an alternative before the end of the month.
AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca and Shakhtar Donetsk’s attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira have also been linked with moves to Stamford Bridge, and while Hiddink gave little away, he hinted that Chelsea are exploring options.
“The window opens and the mouth shuts so we don’t have interest in this moment,” Hiddink said.
“We are thinking. When you think, you don’t speak normally.
“If, suppose something is going on, it can be harmful when you go public.”
A departure for Remy this month was ruled out, but Hiddink wants to see more from the Frenchman.
“He will stay until the end of the season,” said Hiddink, who has seen little of Remy “because he repeatedly fell into injury”.
He added: “I am curious. I hope Remy picks it up. I hope he will deliver if he is needed.”
Chelsea have slender options in the event of Costa and Remy joining Falcao in being unavailable.
Bertrand Traore, a 20-year-old Burkina Faso international, can play up front, but Patrick Bamford will stay with Chelsea’s Under-21s before being considered following the end of his loan at Crystal Palace.
“Prove yourself,” Hiddink said of Bamford.
Falcao has not played since October and the injury means the Colombian is unlikely to leave this month. He was linked with a return to parent club Monaco last week.
“He is completely in the doctors’ and physios’ hands,” Hiddink said.