By Duncan Castles
Chelsea are considering their options after having approaches rejected for Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa.
Fiorentina and Shakhtar Donetsk are both seeking transfer fees in excess of £22 million for the Colombia and Brazil internationals respectively.
And while Chelsea remain confident of securing a deal for one of their two overseas-based targets before the January transfer window closes, they are looking at alternatives, mindful that there is only a week left to run before the deadline.
One such alternative is Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who has emerged as an alternative January signing should the club prove unable to agree a fee for either Cuadrado or Douglas.
Jose Mourinho is a long standing admirer of the Newcastle United midfielder, identifying the France international as a Premier League-ready reinforcement for a squad competing for silverware on three fronts.
With Newcastle owner Mike Ashley open to selling any of the club's players at a reasonable profit, Sissoko, 25, represents a lower-cost alternative to Cuadrado and Douglas.
To raise funds for the new signing, Mourinho is prepared to sacrifice both Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah.
Schurrle joined Chelsea in the summer of 2013 in a deal put in place before the Portuguese coach returned to Stamford Bridge. The attacking midfielder's status as one of Germany's World Cup winners offers a profitable market for his services in the Bundesliga.
Salah arrived from FC Basel in the last winter window, but has failed to impress the Chelsea manager with his efforts to win a place in the first team. The Egypt international has made just one substitute's appearance during the current Premier League campaign and is set to be loaned to Roma with an option to buy.
Between them, Schurrle and Salah have played a sparse 463 minutes of Premier League football this season.
“I don't know if a deal is to happen,” said Mourinho on Friday. “If my club tells me we have a certain offer for a certain player we think is a good movement for us, because we work in the rules of Financial Fair Play sometimes we have needs, like we had in the past transfer windows where we sold some players.
“The question is to have a phenomenal offer and a player to be super keen of accept a new challenge in his career. We don't want to sell our players. If one player moves, then we will bring somebody in, internationals."
Despite Mourinho's comments, Chelsea remain hopeful of securing a deal for one of their two primary targets this week.