Galatasaray have told Chelsea to stump up £12.5 million if they wish to land Wesley Sneijder, a hefty sum that just isn't worth it for Jose Mourinho's Blues.
Unal Aysal, president of the Turkish club, revealed the player's price after Manchester United were said to have an offer for the Dutch international turned down. As reported by Colin Harvey of the Daily Star, Aysal's quote came in direct response to Chelsea's rumoured interest:
"If Chelsea were to offer a deal worth over €15 million (£12.5m) I would give Sneijder permission to leave if that's what he wanted," said Aysal.
Although Sneijder is an excellent player, one who has proven himself world class across many years of top-level football, this fee doesn't adhere to Chelsea's needs. Mourinho is building a young, rapidly improving team. Heading toward his 30th birthday, Sneijder doesn't fit the bill.
The former Inter Milan player's arrival would slow Oscar's progress. Mourinho has deployed the Brazilian 39 times in the Premier League and Champions League this season, recorded by WhoScored.com, and he seems determined on building his team's attack around the 22-year-old.
With nine goals and six assists to his name, faith in the attacking midfielder is beginning to pay off regularly.
Oscar already has to compete with the likes of Frank Lampard, Andre Schurrle, Willian, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah for a place in the team, not to mention the injured Marco van Ginkel. Players including Victor Moses and Lucas Piazon are currently out on loan, indicating Chelsea's numbers are stacked in Oscar's area.
Sneijder will only add to this selection dilemma. Mourinho has greater priorities than to continue bloating his attacking midfield options; none of which are more important than landing at least one new striker in the summer transfer window.
As noted by Tony Banks of the Express, reports suggest Mourinho will have to sell key stars to fund any major arrival:
Jose Mourinho may have to sacrifice either Eden Hazard or Oscar as he rebuilds Chelsea - after being hit by the bombshell from owner Roman Abramovich that he will have to sell before he can buy this summer.
Players such as Diego Costa are rumoured to be top of the Portuguese manager's wishlist, a transfer that could cost in the region of £40 million, per Rob Draper of the Daily Mail. Adding Sneijder to this expense only complicates matters. With the FIFA Financial Fair Play rules now in effect, Chelsea can't afford to horde world-class players in a luxury manner.
Sneijder is likely to slow down across the next couple of years. His game has never been based on explosive speed or power, but Mourinho's players are drilled to energetically exert physicality whether they are in possession or not.
The February win at Manchester City was testimony of this. Mourinho's team worked in tandem, attacking and defending as a unit, maintaining a quick pace and pressuring their opponents into mistakes. Young players such as Oscar and Hazard were given real responsibility in a dynamic system, highlighting their increasing maturity.
It's an unnecessary step to interrupt this progress with the addition of Sneijder. Already stacked to the brim with improving stars, Chelsea's line-up is in need of a spearhead, not an alternative shaft.
Sneijder remains an excellent player, someone who can regularly win matches, but he doesn't fit into the development ethos or financial situation at Stamford Bridge.