Chelsea Transfers: 4 Big Names Linked to Team in the Gossip Columns

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentNovember 21, 2012

Chelsea Transfers: 4 Big Names Linked to Team in the Gossip Columns

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    With Roberto Di Matteo sacked, don't be surprised if Roman Abramovich makes some impulsive signings during the January transfer window. 

    After the London club's defeat to Juventus, Chelsea supporters should brace themselves for Thursday night UEFA Europa League football. 

    This article will look into four big names linked to the UEFA Champions League holders by the gossip columns. 

Arrivederci Roberto Di Matteo

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    Before we start dissecting Chelsea's January transfer gossip, let's talk about Roberto Di Matteo. 

    It may not have been as iconic as Marco Tardelli's feverish celebration during the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but it was an unforgettable moment when Di Matteo erupted into ecstasy after the Blues' momentous comeback against Napoli at Stamford Bridge. 

    He jumped into Didier Drogba's arms—cue the awkward embrace. The Italian then proceeded to blindside Fernando Torres with a bear hug, before soaking in the atmosphere and coming to terms with what just happened. 

    It showed a different side of Di Matteo, who previously seemed cold and emotionless. You know what else was different? 

    The way Di Matteo abandoned his natural attacking philosophy after the win against Napoli. He came to the conclusion that the personnel he had couldn't stand toe-to-toe with Barcelona and Bayern Munich—smart decision. 

    Barça suffered déjà vu as Di Matteo borrowed the same defend-for-your-life and hope-for-a-goal (against the run of play) "strategy" that Rubin Kazan, Copenhagen and Inter Milan used. 

    That led to Finale Dahoam, which is to Bayern Munich to what May, 21, 2008 is to Chelsea supporters.

    The pragmatism has tarnished the Italian manager's reputation as an attacking manager. To be fair to him, there were glimpses of his footballing philosophy in a 5-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, a 4-2 win over Aston Villa and a 6-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.

    Don't forget that this is the same manager that got himself fired at West Bromwich Albion for daring to play adventurous football with modest players. 

    However, if you're going to give him credit for the UEFA Champions League triumph, you have to give Avram Grant credit for Chelsea reaching the 2008 Champions League final—he would have been a Champions League winning manager, if not for John Terry's slip. 

    When Di Matteo doesn't park the bus in front of goals, he has been tactically redundant against savvy managers like Diego Simeone, Mircea Lucescu and Steve Clarke. 

    Even without Antonio Conte making in-game adjustments for Juventus, the Bianconeri outplayed the Blues. 

    It's not just about winning, it's about winning the "right way." Roman Abramovich wants Chelsea to be England's answer to Barcelona.

    When neither were happening, the Russian oligarch waved arrivederci to Di Matteo.

    If there is any respite for Di Matteo, it's that he would have been fired earlier if Christian Constantin was the owner.

Rafa Benítez

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    According to, former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is being tipped as Roberto Di Matteo's successor. 

    The biggest problem with Benitez signing for Chelsea is that he wants to be in control.

    He quit Valencia because they wouldn't sign the players he had recommended.

    He has no leverage after his disappointing spell at Inter Milan. Therefore, unless he wants to be a puppet like Avram Grant, Benitez must understand he would only benefit financially from this move as he'll get a payout once he is fired.

    The only pro of having him is that he could revive Fernando Torres' psyche with some facts: Look at the medals you have. You used to give Nemanja Vidić nightmares. Quit being passive and start scoring goals for me. 

    Benítez went all in for the then-Atlético Madrid forward, who proceeded to become one of the most feared strikers in the world for Liverpool. 

    You'd think that kind of trust is still there and it hopefully can improve El Niño's psyche. 

Pep Guardiola

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    According to Jason Burt at The Telegraph, Chelsea are in talks with two-time UEFA Champions League winning manager Pep Guardiola. 

    So, let me get this straight. 

    Guardiola is going to join a club that disregards their youth academy, doesn't have a set philosophy and routinely sacks their managers without fully backing their projects. It's also a club that is heavily run by the players, who still feel like untouchables. 

    It's not an conducive environment for Guardiola and he would be opening himself up to failure. 

    Also, he doesn't have a Lionel Messi to bail out the team's shoddy defence. 


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    According to, Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says Falcao will play out his contract, which runs until 2016.

    Translation: We're keeping him until the summer. 

    Why deprive Diego Simeone of his most important player midway through the season? Atlético have an outside chance of winning La Liga. There is no way that Cerezo would sink the project right now.

    Falcao is Atlético's cash-cow and they'll continue milking him. 

    Obviously, if Chelsea submit some crazy bid like £75-100 million, Atlético would be inclined to do business. 

Didier Drogba

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    Sky Sports has reported that Didier Drogba has sent in a request to FIFA asking for permission to be loaned out from Shanghai Shenhua outside the official transfer window. 

    This naturally means he'll be linked to a Thierry Henry-like comeback with the Blues. 

    If Drogba does seal a loan to Chelsea, then Fernando Torres may as well take siestas during training. 

    It would be the ultimate indictment on his inability to live up to his transfer fee, which could tip him over the edge.  


    Please read Top 11 Transfer Targets from Minor Clubs

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