No team has improved more over the summer transfer period than Chelsea. They added the striker they desperately needed in Diego Costa. They added the playmaker they desperately needed in Cesc Fabregas. They added the true left-back they desperately needed in Filipe Luis. Thibaut Courtois returned from loan.
And yet, because Roman Abramovich is like the person in your life who is impossible to buy a gift for, because he always just buys whatever he wants for himself in the first place, Chelsea continue to be linked to some of the top targets on the market.
But one reported target that never made much sense was Roma's forward Mattia Destro. And what made the deal even more intriguing was that Roma reportedly wanted Fernando Torres to come the other way in a swap deal, as per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail. That was certainly juicy fodder for the back pages of papers.
And it was a rumour that picked up steam and was being reported by multiple sources. Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sports picked up on one:
Chelsea and Tottenham are fighting to sign Roma striker Mattia Destro, according to @Gazzetta_it— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) August 21, 2014
However, we can put the kibosh on this deal for now, as Destro's agent, Renzo Contratto, denied any such deal would be taking place, per Sky Sports:
And while Renzo Contratto claims the Blues are interested in bringing the Italy international to Stamford Bridge, it is highly unlikely that Destro will leave the Giallorossi this summer.
'It's true that Chelsea are interested in Mattia,' Destro's agent told Press Association Sport on Thursday. 'But the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it's all speculation.
'Roma don't want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma.'
So there you have it.
It isn't hard to see why Chelsea—or other clubs, for that matter—would be interested in Destro. He scored 13 goals in just 20 Serie A appearances last season, earning a 7.04 average match rating in the process from WhoScored.com. At 23 years of age, his talent is immense.
But how would he have really fit at Chelsea? Diego Costa is the undisputed starter on the team, while Didier Drogba gives the Blues a physical, experienced striker capable of coming on late in games and terrorizing an opponent's weary back line. Destro would get his share of time on the pitch in the domestic cups, sure, but his role during the Premier League season and Champions League would probably be as a pure deputy.
And that's one reason that James Horncastle of BT Sport doesn't envision him heading to Stamford Bridge:
@ollie_glanvill don’t think it’ll go anywhere. Player wants to play regularly. Won’t get that at Chelsea, Ollie— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) August 21, 2014
And for what it's worth, Chelsea have excellent balance at the forward position at the moment. Costa is the starter. Drogba is the super-sub and occasional starter. And Torres brings a completely different element to the game if he's inserted than either Costa or Drogba, as he'll work tirelessly, take on players off the dribble and set up his team-mates.
Plus, Torres is no stranger to coming off the bench at this point. It's a nice balance to have, even if Torres has always been a disappointment for Chelsea fans. At least now, he has a role he's capable of filling and won't be playing against unrealistic expectations.
Yes, there is the concern of Costa getting hurt, in which case a player younger than Drogba and more clinical than Torres would be a nice luxury to have. But if you were Destro—a young, talented player who needs games—would you rather be a contingency plan at Chelsea or a starter at Roma?
It's the latter. At Roma, he still gets Champions League football. He's still on a very talented team. And though he still has Francesco Totti to compete with for playing time, Totti is 37 years old and Destro outscored him in Serie A play last year. He'll get more playing time this year as long as he stays fit.
It's less likely he'd seriously take a bite out of Costa's playing time.
Add it all up, and the purported deal just doesn't make a ton of sense. The other rumours out there, like Chelsea making a play for Sami Khedira, are far more logical. Just imagine a midfield trio of Nemanja Matic in the holding spot, Khedira roaming from box to box and Fabregas sitting in front of both and pulling the creative strings. How devastating would that trio be?
That move would make sense. Swapping Torres for Destro?
Well, it's hard to see how that move would dramatically improve the Blues or make sense for the player.