CHELSEA are hoping to clinch a January transfer window double by signing Thomas Lemar and Ross Barkley.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is desperate to strengthen his squad after being frustrated all season at the lack of depth in his group.
And the Italian has been cleared to get busy next month, with Monaco ace Lemar and Everton’s unsettled Barkley the most likely to be signed.
Chelsea manager Conte has cut a frustrated figure for much of the campaign and has openly moaned about the transfer business done by the club last summer.
But the Standard say he is now hopeful of making at least two signings in the new year to help boost the club’s bid for a top four finish and challenge in Europe.
England midfielder Barkley looked destined to move to London last summer after the club had a £35million bid accepted by Everton.
But the 24-year-old had second thoughts as he was making the journey down to the capital to complete his medical and pulled out at the last minute.
Chelsea have retained their interest in the playmaker and are willing to come back with another offer, with the player now almost certain to be on his way out of Goodison Park.
With first team opportunities at Everton limited, there are unlikely to be any repeat of the reservations he had in August about ensuring he had plenty of game time if he joined Chelsea.
And Conte will not settle for signing just one midfielder, with Monaco star Lemar also in his sights.
The wide man was one of the star’s of the club’s run to the Champions League semi-final last season, but was forced to sit tight while most of the other players were sold around him.
Arsenal made repeated attempts to take him to the Emirates Stadium over the summer, but the French club insisted they were in no mood to sell.
Chelsea also made a late bid to snatch him at the end of August but Monaco stood firm and refused to budge.
But now that position has softened with the club already out of European competition and well adrift in of leaders Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
The Blues believe they could clinch a deal if they stumped up a fee of around £35m for the 22-year-old French international.