Things could hardly be more rosy for Thomas Tuchel right now at Chelsea.
The German arrived at Stamford Bridge in late January under a dark cloud, with the club’s fanbase bitterly split over the axing of club legend Frank Lampard.
Tuchel needed to make an immediate impression to get all on side, and it’s fair to say he has ticked this box with ruthless efficiency.
Fortunes have drastically turned around at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues yet to lose a match under their new commander.
A spot in the Champions League quarter-finals has been booked for the first time in seven years, and Chelsea remain on course to secure a top four finish this season.
Yet something is missing. Or, rather, someone.
Chelsea need a goal-getter and it is becoming more apparent by the week. For a team with bottomless riches and a spend-happy owner, delving into the market this summer for a bonafide goalscorer is not set to be an issue.
All hopes were pinned on Timo Werner to fill the void following his £53million move from Leipzig, but it has not quite gone to plan.
Chelsea still hope Tuchel can coax out the best from his countryman, but patience is rapidly running out. Roman Abramovich wants a forward in his team capable of challenging for the golden boot, and isn’t afraid to move mountains in order to get a deal done.
Former Chelsea icon Joe Cole has already urged the Blues to sign a certain £90million-rated sensation from Dortmund to ‘bring back the glory days,’ but unfortunately the transfer window is not always that simple.
Sportsmail takes a look at the shortlist of candidates…
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund
This one comes as no surprise.
Any team in world football would take Haaland right now.
The Norwegian doesn’t even turn 21 until July but is already among the best strikers on the planet.
Dortmund had initially hoped to hold on to the mercurial star for at least another season, though all signs currently point to a summer sale.
Haaland will bring in huge funds at a time when all football teams, Dortmund included, have taken a hefty knock to their finances.
With Tuchel’s former club facing a battle to even qualify for the Champions League this season, now would be a prime time to raid his old stomping ground.
The statistics of Haaland remain off the scale, and the sheer potential of the player has been lost on nobody. Chelsea, therefore, will face a tough and no doubt long-drawn battle for his signature.
In the Bundesliga this season Haaland has a quite remarkable 19 goals from 20 matches, with four assists.
He has scored a further 10 goals in six Champions League matches, providing one assist.
Such a blistering record has seen the whole of Europe sit up and watch. What is more terrifying is that Haaland still appears to be getting better.
Manchester United and City have both been linked with a move, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have each thrown their hat in the ring.
To pull this one off, Chelsea will have to go back to what they know best and blow their rivals out of the water.
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
A strange series of events could yet see the potential arrival of Haaland at City pave the wave for Aguero to sign on the dotted line for their Premier League rivals.
The veteran striker is out of contract at the end of the season and does not appear set to renew at the Etihad.
Aguero has struggled with injuries this season, but is still regarded as one of the most prolific marksmen on the planet.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with offering him a passage back to LaLiga, though it has emerged that Aguero has a preference to remain in the English top flight.
Chelsea, therefore, have been put on red alert as a result.
Few strikers know the Premier League better than Aguero and, should Tuchel be able to keep him fit while building his front line around him, the goals would undoubtedly flow.
As a free agent Aguero would naturally save Chelsea a greater deal of cash, compared to a lavish splurge on a player like Haaland.
Nevertheless, Aguero is very much aware of his status in world football and the 32-year-old would still command lofty wages and most probably a lucrative signing on fee.
Paris Saint Germain have also been linked, along with his former club Atletico Madrid.
Danny Ings – Southampton
After taking the bold step to leave Liverpool in search of first time football, few people expected Ings to go on to have such an impact on the Premier League.
The 28-year-old has been a revelation since returning to the familiar territory of the south coast, and remains the driving force behind everything that is good about Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints.
The former Liverpool man has eight goals and two assists in 22 league appearances this season, following on from the 22 strikes he rifled home during the previous campaign in search of the golden boot.
Ings has proven he can do the business regardless of the calibre of player around him, so long as he is given a sustained run in the team.
At Liverpool he wasn’t afforded such luxuries, and a constant series of injuries appeared to blur into one another.
Signing Ings, with his chequered fitness history, comes with a risk. For Tuchel, however, this will appear minimal.
Ings would represent the most cost-effective top level striker the Blues could acquire this summer, and comes with a guaranteed nose for Premier League goals.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and David Moyes’ West Ham United have also been linked with a move, meaning Tuchel cannot afford to hang around for long.
Andre Silva – Frankfurt
The 25-year-old Silva has been on the radar of Europe’s top clubs for quite some time.
The talented Portuguese star was perhaps the victim of being overhyped far too quickly.
For years the Portugal national side has been praying for an elite level striker to come through and take the mantle of Cristiano Ronaldo.
In Silva, they immediately assumed they had their man.
After showing he was far too good for his age group after breaking through at Porto, Silva was quickly whisked into the international set-up before being sent off on a big money move to Italian giants AC Milan.
Silva was seen as the man to fire Milan back from the darkness, but too much pressure was placed on his young shoulders.
After it failed to work out, Silva went to LaLiga with Sevilla where he scored 11 goals in 40 appearances.
The figures did not quite check out for someone who was expected to be so prolific, but this season everything has changed.
After securing a move to Eintracht Frankfurt, Silva has taken to the Bundesliga like a duck to water.
So far he has a hugely impressive 19 goals in 23 league matches for his side, with four assists to his name. Frankfurt have rocketed up the league table as a result and currently sit in fourth – keeping Dortmund out of the Champions League positions.
Interest in Silva is surging as a result, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool also being linked with the player as a potential long-term replacement for Roberto Firmino.
The 25-year-old is a player who will very much appeal to Tuchel, given the tactical flexibility he offers in the final third and the fact he has already cut his teeth in three major leagues of European football.
Duvan Zapata – Atalanta
Colombian star Zapata has been the leading light for an exciting Atalanta side for several years now.
The 29-year-old has proven himself to be one of the most formidable strikers in European football when fully on song.
He possesses a blend of raw pace and physical strength which opposition defenders despise, and has in recent weeks signaled a desire to try something new.
Last season Zapata provided 18 goals in 28 Serie A matches with seven assists alongside, as he hunted down Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in search of the golden boot.