Chelsea Transfer News: Is Raul Meireles Leaving Stamford Bridge This Summer?

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJune 26, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Raul Meireles of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge on May 13, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles is the latest Blues player rumored to be making a move this summer with reports emerging that Italian club Napoli are keen to sign the 29-year-old.

According to Mirror Football, Meireles is an £8 million target for the Italian giants, who will be eager to boost their attacking ranks after selling their go-to striker, Ezequiel Lavezzi, to Paris St. Germain recently.

The midfielder was superb for Chelsea throughout the season and was an integral part of Chelsea's Champions League victory—a tournament in which they ironically beat Napoli earlier on.

Yet with all the discussion about a potential Blues move for Wigan Athletic's Victor Moses and the latest speculation about a move for Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle, could Meireles be set to leave Stamford Bridge over the summer?

It really doesn't appear likely.

Remember this is a player that has just won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea—a club that has only further strengthened their squad with the signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin. They will challenge for the Premier League next season and they will challenge once more for Europe's most prestigious tournament.

Why then, would Meireles want to leave to Napoli—a club that just lost arguably their best attacking weapon and a side that will not be playing Champions League football next season.

As with every other player at Euro 2012, Meireles is stating the same line regarding his future:

I am focused on the Euros and cannot think about my future now...

But with the big picture in mind and the increasingly important topic of Champions League football on the table, any prospective move seems to be unlikely—even if Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made enquiries to Meireles’ agents in order to try and make the move happen.

Should Napoli lose their next big star, Edinson Cavani, any move to the Italian club is almost unthinkable, with Chelsea having a better squad and able to offer a higher class of football.

That's not even talking about money. 

Napoli are rumored to see Meireles as an £8 million target, but considering Chelsea bought the midfielder for £12 million a year ago and he has won the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League since then, a step down in price is unlikely to spell success for the Italian club.

Ultimately, I think it will be Champions League football that is the overarching factor behind this non-move by Meireles and the main reason why he wants to remain at Stamford Bridge—he wants to continue to win big trophies and knows this is arguably his best chance to do it.

We've already seen so far the incredible weight that playing in the Champions League brings (Harry Redknapp, anyone?) and this is no exception to that rule.

I'd be ignoring this one—just another transfer rumor with nothing behind it.

Will Raul Meireles leave Stamford Bridge this summer?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter —  


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