Chelsea Transfer News: Latest Updates on Juan Mata, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2013

With a manager like Jose Mourinho, you had to know things were going to get crazy at Chelsea during the transfer window.

It was just too clean the way the club signed Mark Schwarzer, Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel. Those transfers were done in relatively short order without a ton of fanfare.

Mourinho couldn't keep that up all summer, so there's been the Wayne Rooney saga, the transfer of Willian, via the team's official website, and the daily proclamation that his best player isn't for sale. The only thing that will stop all the madness is the window closing on Sept. 2.

Here are the latest updates on Chelsea's transfer activity.


Andre Villas-Boas Admits Juan Mata Transfer Unlikely

There's no way Juan Mata will be sold by Chelsea this summer. He's too good and too important to the club. The fact that this story won't die is a testament to what the transfer window can do to common sense.

In the nonexistent race to sign Mata, you can take Tottenham out of the running, as Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that in the extremely slim chance Chelsea sell the 25-year-old midfielder, they're not going to sell him to a rival like Spurs, as per Sky Sports:

Mata is a great player - player of the season last season, a very important player for Chelsea.

But Chelsea wouldn't sell to Tottenham in any way, as they think we are title contenders.

They're just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title.

The fact that Mata's future is in doubt is a problem Mourinho created for himself.

He's already said that the player isn't going anywhere, via Sky Sports. But by buying Willian, Chelsea have created a selection dilemma, one that can only be solved by offloading at least one of their wingers/attacking midfielders.

People see Mata on the bench against Manchester United, and they start wondering if the manager rates the Spanish winger. They then jump to the conclusion that maybe he's the one the Blues will sell. It's not exactly the farthest jump fans will have made when putting together a transfer rumour.

Don't worry, Chelsea supporters. The club is reportedly interested in Christian Atsu and is close to signing him as well, via Richard Arrowsmith of the Daily Mail. Signing another winger would end the Mata speculation, right?


Samuel Eto'o Close to Signing for Chelsea

Ben Smith of BBC reported Samuel Eto'o will be moving to Stamford Bridge, effectively killing any chance Wayne Rooney leaves Manchester United this summer:

Chelsea are set to sign Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala on a free transfer.

The 32-year-old will join the Premier League club on a one-year-deal.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho moved for Eto'o after seeing two bids rejected for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

The Independent's James Orr reported Eto'o will slash £10 million off his regular £17 million salary in order to facilitate the move. That's a pretty hefty pay cut and makes this a much better deal for the Blues.

After Chelsea's drab 0-0 draw with Manchester United, you had to figure they'd move for a striker before the window closes, whether it was Eto'o or Rooney. Mourinho used Andre Schurrle as a lone forward, and as a result, the Blues lacked any sort of explosiveness in the attack.

The 32-year-old Cameroonian has experience with Mourinho having been on the Inter Milan team that won the Champions League in 2010. It was that season that many fans came to fully appreciate Eto'o's talent. He did so much for Inter that season in both ends of the pitch.

Although he's not the same player he once was, Eto'o is still a great finisher who would be able to play well off Romelu Lukaku.


Demba Ba Going Back to Newcastle?

With Eto'o's arrival, you might see Chelsea selling or loaning one of either Fernando Torres or Demba Ba. If the Blues want to get rid of Ba, they might have a suitor in Newcastle.

Sky Sports reported the Magpies would be interested in reuniting with their former striker:

Sky sources understand that Newcastle United are interested in bringing Demba Ba back to St James' Park.

The Senegal striker only left Tyneside in January, joining Chelsea on a three-year deal after they activated a £7m release clause in his contract.

Ba has made just the one appearance in the Premier League this season in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa.

Back in July, Ba made it clear he was willing to stay and work his way into the starting XI, via The Independent's Matt McGeehan. It's unlikely he'd agitate for a move away from Chelsea, even after the impending arrival of Eto'o.

It's hard seeing the Blues sell Ba, either. If you throw in Eto'o, Chelsea only have four natural centre-forwards—Lukaku, Ba, Eto'o and Fernando Torres. That doesn't offer you a lot of cover if one of your players goes down with an injury.


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