AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo is back on Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti's shopping list.

The Sun says Ancelotti is already sniffing around Everton's blossoming £10million-rated midfielder Jack Rodwell, although Roman Abramovich does not traditionally get out his chequebook after Christmas.

The exception was in 2008 when then boss Avram Grant prised £27.4m out of the Abramovich coffers to sign Nicolas Anelka, Branislav Ivanovic and Franco Di Santo.

Grant needed cover because Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou were all missing for a month on African Nations Cup duty.

Italian Ancelotti faces the same dilemma over his African stars in the New Year.

Along with Rodwell, Pirlo is also on Ancelotti's shopping list, while Atletico Madrid ace Sergio Aguero is also a target - if his Spanish club drops their asking price to closer to £18 million.