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Chelsea need reinforcements, says Luiz Felipe Scolari

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Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Chelsea manager, will make a third request in as many weeks for funds to strengthen his squad during a series of meetings today and hopes finally to get the money he wants after having his resources stretched by injuries.

Chelsea have insisted that they have no need for new recruits during the transfer window as the board believes that the squad is good enough to challenge for every trophy this season, but the knee injury suffered by Joe Cole may have altered their thinking.

Cole, the England midfield player, will be out for the rest of the season with ligament damage, while Deco (calf) and John Terry (back) have also been sidelined, forcing Scolari to call on youngsters such as Miroslav Stoch, 20, and Gaël Kakuta, 17, to fill the bench against Stoke City on Saturday.

Cole's injury leaves Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou as the only experienced wide players in Scolari's squad and both have performed fitfully for much of the season. Scolari began the campaign with one fewer winger than he had expected after the collapse of the deal to sign Robinho, who joined Manchester City from Real Madrid instead, and the manager will ask for back-up to get him through the rest of the season.

Scolari views Ángel Di María, Benfica's Argentina winger, as his best long-term prospect, but he has identified several other options amid fears that Di María, 20, would struggle to make an immediate impact in the Barclays Premier League, including Antonio Valencia, of Wigan Athletic, who has proved himself at this level and should be relatively easy to prise away from the JJB Stadium, albeit for a fee of about £15 million.

Wigan's problems in keeping hold of their stars have been shown by their willingness to accept Tottenham Hotspur's bid for Wilson Palacios - even if the Honduras midfield player would prefer to move to Manchester City - and they may have little option but to sell Valencia if his team-mate decides to stay at the club until the end of the season.

Benfica have accepted that Di María will leave sooner rather than later, although they are reluctant to sell him while they remain in contention for the Portuguese title.

Scolari's negotiating position with Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, is helped by his refusal, unlike some of his predecessors, to complain in public about a lack of transfer funds and has taken full responsibility for his side's inconsistent performances.

Such patchy displays have aroused concern in the boardroom that qualification for next season's Champions League may be in jeopardy, particularly with difficult away matches against Liverpool and Aston Villa looming next month, and they may decide that further investment is the best way of avoiding such a fate.

Scolari received some good news yesterday when Terry, the captain, returned to training after missing the 2-1 win over Stoke. The centre half is expected to play in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Ipswich Town at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba is also likely to be recalled to face the Coca-Cola Championship club after he trained well again yesterday and suffered no ill effects from his troublesome right knee. The Ivory Coast striker has been omitted for Chelsea's past two matches but is determined to stay and fight for his place.

Chelsea remain confident of turning their season round, but Terry conceded yesterday that they must beat Liverpool at Anfield on February 1 to have a realistic chance of winning the title.

“We haven't been playing well enough to win the Premier League,” Terry said. “As a group of players we've not been good enough of late. Results haven't been good enough home or away. We've got to, and can, put together a string of results from now to the end of the season, but we'll need to beat Liverpool.”

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We need get some good player to Chelsea. Essien is still injured ,J.cole is out os squad to the end of the season and Malouda play like shit from a long time ,i think Scolari got hope Flo back on his fit from OL it's wsating time. And im pretty sure Kenyon still thinking we don't need new player ;/ In Chelsea i would like to see a new winger and striker. Something like 13 days left to close transfer window i hope Chelsea will hurry up and buy good player who help us win Premier League :D

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I heard Bentley mentioned in a report on SSN as a possible target for us. With Spurs bringing in Palacios it will put him further down the pecking order. I thought he'd have been a good signing for us in the summer, but he's done much since arriving at Spurs. So I dont know about that one.

If the money is tight and we arent given anything to spend, it could be worth a shot at getting him in on loan. More for cover than anything.

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