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Do Chelsea Really Need to Add Barcelona Goalkeeper Victor Valdes to Their Squad?

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19:  Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona looks on  during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between FC Barcelona and FC Spartak Moscow at Camp Nou on September 19, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. FC Barcelona won 3-2.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

It seems Chelsea enjoy treading on dangerous ground.

Last season saw Roman Abramovich fire club legend Roberto Di Matteo as manager, only to replace the man who won the Champions League six months earlier with Rafa Benitez.

We all know how that turned out, with the former Liverpool manager's history of clashes with the Blues coming back to haunt him as Chelsea fans refused to accept the Spaniard as manager.

It was all very unpleasant, with boos and jeers ringing out at any given opportunity as supporters of the Stamford Bridge club took things a little too far in their protests.

Now, according to The Express, Chelsea are interested in bringing another former foe—although not one with a history on a par with Benitez—to West London in the form of Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

A product of Barca's academy, he is very much a one-club man. That will come to an end next summer, though, with the 31-year-old himself confirming he will not be extending his contract at the Nou Camp, which expires next year.

As far back as June he was being linked with Arsenal and Monaco in the Evening Standard before he eventually decided to remain in Catalonia for one more season.

With Chelsea's apparent interest now rearing its head, it does beg the question of why the Blues would pursue him.

If Jose Mourinho is having doubts as to the ability of Petr Cech to remain No. 1 beyond 2013-14, he should focus his attentions on Spain, but a little further inland than Barcelona.

At Atletico Madrid, Thibaut Courtois is busy making a name for himself as one of Europe's rising stars, and best of all for Mourinho, he is a Chelsea player currently residing on loan with Los Colchoneros.

If Chelsea were to bring in Valdes, where would it leave the young Belgian? Valdes has been the first choice at Barcelona for the best part of a decade, so whether he would be willing to move to West London and play second fiddle to a young upstart is debatable.

Besides, Cech, also 31, has already shown this term that he remains not only one of the Premier League's best stoppers, but Europe's also. His performance against Bayern Munich kept Chelsea in the Super Cup last month, and he is far more superior to Valdes in most aspects of his game.

A year is a long time in football, but Mourinho is no doubt planning his moves already, as the Valdes rumor confirms. It's why Samuel Eto'o has been given just a year's contract as Chelsea look to bridge the gap between adding numbers to their squad and signing the world-class striker Mourinho craves.

In the goalkeeper department, Hilario was redrafted this term, having been released at the end of 2012-13, while Mark Schwarzer was a free capture from Fulham.

Both are nearing the end of their careers, yet if Chelsea were to depart with their services come 2014, having three No. 1s—Cech, Courtois and Valdes—on their books still doesn't add up.

Something would have to give, and frankly Valdes isn't good enough to force Mourinho into making that decision.

Overloading their midfield, making questionable signings late in the summer transfer window, some have questioned where Chelsea's policy is headed.

Blues fans must surely be hoping this surprise interest in Valdes is nothing more than just paper talk. If it isn't, it could be a very interesting summer at Stamford Bridge next year.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes.

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