JANUARY is always a notoriously difficult month for clubs to do any transfer business.

Largely because many teams do not want to even entertain negotiating transfer sales midway through a current season, but it is also a short window so any negotiations will need to be quicker than in the summer.

Chelsea could well be forced to start some of their business a little earlier than the summer though, due to contractual situations, injuries, Covid-19, and fatigue.

We've seen Chelsea go through the last month without a number of key players lost due to injuries, and the situation with Ben Chilwell could also dictate a potential January move.

If it transpires that Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, or Thiago Silva do agree pre-contracts with a new club in January, as they will be allowed to do, it would probably be wise for Chelsea to bring in a new centre back or two in the winter window.

Silva and Christensen look likely to be staying now, but the other two are still up in the air.

So with that in mind, here are five potential transfer targets Chelsea could look at in January, depending on circumstances of course.

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Lucas Digne

Chelsea may prefer to bring back Ian Maatsen from his loan at Coventry to provide extra cover at left wing back whilst Ben Chilwell remains injured.

But depending on his recovery process and whether he is going to need surgery, Chelsea could turn to Digne from Everton.

I personally do not believe Marcos Alonso is good enough to be our regular starting left wing back, so I'd be looking to bring in the French international here.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with him before and the latest reports suggests Everton might be prepared to sell him in January.

Not only does he bring experience, but he is also a quality player and a top option to come in and instantly improve our starting Xl whilst Chilwell is absent.

Jules Kounde

It was well documented that Chelsea chased Kounde in the summer and would have signed him should they not have eventually been priced out of the move by Sevilla.

So as I said above, bringing in a new centre back would be wise in January, but even more so with Kounde because he can provide cover playing anywhere on the right hand side of the pitch as well as centre back.

With our captain Cesar Azpilicueta aging and with an uncertain Chelsea future, I believe it would be a good move to try and bring Kounde in for January.

He clearly wants the move, and not only would it provide Chelsea with extra cover and pre-planning for any potential defensive departures, it will also stop more clubs coming in for him in the summer.

Aurelien Tchouameni

I believe that the last four weeks has proven that Chelsea need to sign another top quality midfielder who can play in the 6 role, purely because of the amount of ongoing issues we have seen in that area.

Saul Niguez certainly isn't the one, so for me even though it seems we aren't allowed to send him back to Atletico in the January window at least, we should still be replacing him and bringing in a much stronger option.

Tchouameni is a player who Chelsea looked at in the summer but decided an extra year playing in Ligue 1 for Monaco will be a better idea that pursuing him in the summer.

But right now I feel we would be best suited to bringing him in in January in order to cover absentees and rotate with N'Golo Kante, who has only been available for less than half of Thomas Tuchel's games in charge of Chelsea so far.

With Covid-19 being an issue at clubs once again as well, I just think it would be much wiser for us to bring Tchouameni in this winter, or at least make an attempt to.

Matthijs De Ligt

Although he would be far from a cheap option, and a January move seems close to impossible, I would be looking at him for his experience in case Rudiger leaves.

I think that this story is far from over, but if it does transpire that he ends up agreeing a pre-contract for another team in January, then we need to try and replace him in January.

De Ligt I feel brings you that experience and leadership, and these would be two massive things that we would lose with Rudiger if he does leave.

As I said though, he would be far from a cheap buy if we did try and bring him in, and maybe this could be one for the summer instead.

But I do believe that Juventus would be interested in selling him so it could be do-able.

Wesley Fofana

Another centre back who has been strongly linked to Chelsea is Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana, who would surely jump at a chance to join the European Champions.

He's a fantastic player and we all know how well Chelsea have traded with Leicester before bringing in both N'Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell in recent seasons, so you'd expect this rumour to have some legs and grow even more over the next few weeks.

Having said that, a summer move seems much more realistic here if a pursuit does come, because there is no way that Leicester would allow him to go mid-season.

You do have to consider him an option though even still, because as I alluded to previously, Chelsea could be in need of more than one new centre back very soon depending on their own contractual situations.

On the whole I don't expect Chelsea to be too busy in January, but there are certainly a few situations that could transpire that sees Chelsea becoming busier than they expected to be this winter.

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