Following the transfer window as a Chelsea fan can feel a bit like being in the film Groundhog Day at times, with daily rumours creating daily optimism over and over.
It’s where the news goes that stops supporters from going insane, and luckily for the Blues, early speculation has turned into signatures several times already this summer.
New stars Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas impressed immensely in Chelsea’s opening Premier League victory over Burnley on Monday, and here, we take a look at two potential new recruits for Jose Mourinho.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho has been involved in a transfer tug of war since the start of the summer, with several of Europe’s elite clubs all linked with landing the midfielder.
Among them was Arsenal, who, according to Sky Sports’ Pete O’Rourke, had a €30 million bid rejected by Sporting for Carvalho back in July:
Reports in Portugal claim Sporting Lisbon have rejected a €30million bid from Arsenal for William Carvalho. #AFC— Pete O'Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) July 20, 2014
Said rejection was due to the Gunners failing to meet the Lisbon club’s astronomical asking price, but reports have now emerged suggesting that Chelsea are keen to go where Arsene Wenger daren’t.
Aren’t those options already pretty finely tuned, though?
Fabregas proved at Turf Moor that, alongside Nemanja Matic, he can have the kind of season that makes his £30 million price tag appear like chump change.
Pushing the Spaniard forward to make room for Carvalho is an option for Mourinho, but changing such an effective formula isn’t exactly a policy he adopts a lot.
The future potential of 22-year-old Carvalho is all that really adds a bit of sense to the move, but in the interest of 2014/15, it simply isn’t worth it.
With only 7,328 players on their books, Chelsea have finally decided to address the shortage by adding another; well, either that or the sport of preventing Arsenal from signing someone for whom their need is greater. Accordingly, they plan to offer £35m for William Carvalho—precisely £1m per Sporting Lisbon appearance. Already standing by is Roberto Martínez, fawning speech thanking Chelsea for their altruistic generosity prepared for when the player turns up at Goodison Park on loan.
While what Harris writes is rather in jest, he’s not far away from reality, as paying £35 million for a star that won’t be able to live up to his immediate price tag is leaning towards insanity.
John Obi Mikel’s lack of class in midfield does present a case for the move, but paying such an astonishing sum of money to replace a star whose appearances are even rarer than his ability to play an accurate pass simply isn’t worth it.
Roma’s Mehdi Benatia is another star whose future has come under the microscope frequently of late, with Chelsea’s interest the centre of attention throughout the window.
While the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona were rumoured to have wanted to put Benatia on their payroll, beIN Sports’ Tancredi Palmeri revealed that only the Blues have made contact with the player:
Chelsea haven't still make any offer for Benatia, but in the last month and until this week they were the only one in contact for the player— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 16, 2014
Similar to midfield, Chelsea have an incredibly talented back line, but it’s safe to say that a star of Benatia’s calibre would add something to it.
It seems that Mourinho knows as much, and James Dickenson of the Daily Express reported that Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini has flown to London to discuss the terms of Benatia’s transfer. The price is thought to be around £32 million.
Don’t let optimism get the better of you just yet, though, Blues fans, as Chelsea may face stiff competition for his signature from one of the planet’s biggest clubs.
Bayern Munich have reportedly joined the hunt to land Benatia, as chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge refused to rule out the Bundesliga champions making a move for the 27-year-old, per David Wright of the Daily Express.
“We're not going to say anything because, if in doubt, that could only make the player more expensive," Rummenigge said. "If we do do anything on the transfer market, then it will all depend on the quality and the price."
The quality of Benatia certainly cannot be questioned, and if Mournho wants to wrestle the famous blue shirt onto the defender, then he apparently needs to act quickly.
It’s easy for Chelsea fans to get carried away after watching them breeze past Burnley with a seemingly flawless squad, but additions wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Meeting homegrown quotas will be at the top of the club’s list, though, and before moves for either Carvalho or Benatia can happen, Mourinho needs to shuffle his pack.