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Benitez suggests transfer plan

Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has hinted the club need to sign a defensive midfielder in the January transfer window.

As they prepare to begin their Club World Cup campaign in Japan, the European champions have a wealth of playmaking options from the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard.

But with Oriol Romeu ruled out for the rest of the season due to knee surgery and John Obi Mikel set to take part in January's Africa Cup of Nations, defensive options are limited.

Chelsea have consequently been linked with Corinthians' Brazil international, Paulinho, and Newcastle United's tough-tackling Cheick Tiote.

And Benitez offered a clue about reinforcements, as he said in The Times: "You need to know the players and find the balance.

"If you have too many players with quality - these players we were talking about, all dynamic but cannot regain the ball - you do not have the balance.

"If you give the ball away, you have to regain [it]." Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar