Two games left to play and silly season seems to be here again. Is it really a year already since the last time we were going to sign the likes of Ronaldinho and Eto’o? So, how many superstars are we going to fit under the Stamford Bridge roof next season and more to the point how much truth is there in any of the latest rumours?
Naturally we’ll be putting in our yearly bid for Ronaldinho despite him using the time he’s spent out injured to learn Italian. I tell you what, while we’re feeling generous though, how about a world record attempt to sign Lionel Messi as well? And whilst we’re raiding Barca, we might as well take Xavi just so they all feel at home. Joking aside, is there any truth in these three? Well Roman’s reported to be almost obsessed with he who avoids the dentist, so that one’s always a possibility although not one I’d personally welcome. But with Messi costing somewhere in the region of £80 million and Xavi’s buyout clause set at £100 million, I think the tabloids might have strayed a little wide of the mark on these two.
More realistic could be Blackburn’s David Bentley who, at £15 million could easily slot in for the rumoured to be outgoing SWP. Whilst Ribery, who’s also been linked, could see both Malouda shown the door, and a return to a constant threat from Chelsea on the wings – didn’t we have all that before TSO came along?
Anyway, back in the real world, where would that leave Joe Cole? Playing just off the striker maybe? Which leads us to the question of who that will be exactly. We don’t even need the rumour mill to confirm Claudio Pizarro will be outward bound this summer, having shown his scoring prowess to be as clinical as my mother in slippers. Only marginally less hapless in front of goal has been the man that luck forgot, or Shevchenko for those of you who’ve forgotten he’s still around. The will-he-won’t-he saga could see his return to the San Siro, but only if we’re doing freebie’s apparently. The ever restless Anelka’s already had a few unremarkable months with us, so you never know what he’ll be up to next and as for Drogba, he’s about as committed as an alcoholic holding a pint, so it’s hardly surprising we’ve started shopping around for replacements. According to recent reports, Grant would demand Inter striker Mario Balotelli as part of any deal seeing Drogba sign for the other half of the San Siro. However, the two flaws in that story are that if Balotelli is good enough to come in for Chelsea, then why would Inter need Drogba in the first place? Plus, why would Grant’s opinion count when we still don’t know how high up on the ‘replace with new’ list his name is yet? Another name touted by the press again this year is David Villa, although Grant, by all accounts, has his eye on Mario Gomez – but then we’ve already looked at how much Grant’s opinion could count.
Back to David Villa for a minute, a deal with Valencia could involve cash, plus the out of favour Belletti heading for the Spanish side. Belletti’s performance in the Carling Cup appears to have been enough to seal his fate and he’s now well behind both Essien and Ferreira (who by the way should both be staying) in the queue. But fear not, because not only are the Spanish rags suggesting the £4 million Belletti could very well be replaced by the 70 million euro capture of Sergio Ramos (who incidentally must be wetting himself at the thought of a 67 million euro increase in his current worth), but also, we’re apparently prepared to repeat last year’s farce with Sevilla for Daniel Alves or alternatively, just settle for Inter’s Maicon Douglas. So that’s that sorted.
The most worrying rumour though, has to be that of Mourinho taking over the Inter hot seat and wanting to prise Carvalho away from Stamford Bridge, but we’ll just have to hope Roman shows him who’s boss (again) if he does. However, the imminent departure of Tal Ben Haim, I suspect, would break a lot less Chelsea hearts. Likewise, Steve Sidwell, who hasn’t even managed to get his kit dirty since he signed on the dotted line.
The increasingly impressive Ballack has expressed his desire to stay at the club, which is good news for the journalists who’ve suggested that’s exactly what Chelsea want. But with the German putting in some of his best performances in the absence of Lampard, he might be less than pleased to hear rumours of Frank’s plan to stay.
Finally, with Cudicini also rumoured to be on the list marked ‘wants out’, and Hilario in the ‘are you kidding?’ pile, we’ll be looking for an understudy for the irreplaceable Cech. Personally, after his exceptional goal mouth display against Utd, I think Shevchenko could fit the bill nicely, keeping him at the club to welcome his old team mate and our new signing – Kaka!
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
Filed under: Rants