CHELSEA have started their search for a replacement for injured Brazilian defender Alex who is recuperating from knee surgery.
The 28-year-old went under the knife at the beginning of December and is expected to be out of action until the end of January.
And Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that Alex’s injury has put the Blues on red alert with the transfer window set to open next month.
“We have a big question mark over Alex who has a problem on his knee and we will have to wait and focus on his condition,” said Ancelotti.
“Unless we are sure he has solved this problem we are looking for another defender until January 31.
“If he doesn’t recover towards the end of January we can think about another defender.”
However, the Italian insists that he is only entering the market for a defender and not to bolster other areas of his squad.
“I am only thinking about a defender, not a midfielder - when you have a problem you have to find a solution,” he said.
Ancelotti also hinted that he would be looking for an English centre-half after watching summer signing Ramires struggle to adapt to the Premier League.
“Obviously if you take an English player you don’t have a problem to adapt – they know the language and the culture.”
This could see the Blues bid for Manchester City defender Joeleon Lescott who looks set to leave Eastlands as City chase £20million rated Benfica defender David Luiz.
Ancelotti had been set to swoop for Blackburn Rovers’ England Under-21 star Phil Jones following the recent departure of Sam Allardyce.
But the move was scuppered by a knee injury to the teenager in Rovers’ 1-1 draw with West Ham that will see him miss the rest of the season.