Money hasn't been an issue for Chelsea since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. Although Chelsea's most notable signings in the past two seasons have been Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka, and José Bosingwa. Quite the U-turn from buying Arjen Robben, Andriy Shevchenko, Petr Cech, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard, and Joe and Ashley Cole.
The past transfer windows have seen Chelsea digging through the bargain bin only to sign and toss aside players like Tal Ben-Haim, Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizarro, Deco, and Ricardo Quaresma. This summer, directors at Chelsea have promised a 'marquee' signing, but the closest thing resembling that would be the £18 million signing of Yuri Zhirkov from CSKA Moscow.
This is where the story of John Terry comes into play. The new blue revolution is taking place in Manchester, bringing in the likes of Carlos Tévez and Gareth Barry (and if you believe the papers, Joleon Lescott and Emmanuel Adebayor aren't far behind) to Eastlands. But what Manchester City really want is the England captain.
City have made two previous offers for Terry, first in the region of £25 million and the second somewhere near £30 million, both have been outright rejected.
In the past week or two, rumors have been swirling that City will make a third bid for Terry in the ballpark of £40 million plus a £250,000 a week pay packet and a £5 million sign on bonus if the papers are to be believed.
Terry met with Abramovich to discuss the proposed offer over the weekend. Two different accounts of the event emerged, both leaving Terry upset with his current situation at Chelsea.
The first claimed Terry wanted Chelsea to raise his current £135,000 a week, but the club wouldn't budge. The second scenario is that Terry is unhappy with Abramovich's apparent reluctance to strengthen the squad in the transfer window.
Terry hasn't made any public statements about the rumors and reports suggest that he has his agent and advisors speaking with both Chelsea and Manchester City to further explore his proposed transfer.
As the only graduate of Chelsea's academy of the current starting XI, it would be unfortunate to lose him. But £40 million is a lot of money.
Alex has emerged as the replacement for the 31-year-old Ricardo Carvalho, but Carvalho could still prove quite useful despite an injury plagued 2008/09 season. Carvalho has one year left on his contract and at the end of the 2007/08 season there were many pundits wondering who really was the heart of Chelsea's defense, Terry or Carvalho.
Extending Carvalho's contract and using less than a quarter of that £40 million on signing a young center back could be quite useful in two seasons' time as well as frugal. Additionally, the sale would contribute another £30 million to Carlo Ancelotti's transfer kitty.
With Franck Ribery seemingly destined to follow Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps to Madrid either this season or next, the only 'marquee' player to appear available would be Zlatan Ibrahimović.
"Ibra" would likely cost Chelsea in the realm of £40 million, but with Chelsea's rumored kitty of £50 million, there would still likely be £35 million available even after the signings of Zhirkov and Ibrahimović.
That money could get Chelsea some young midfielders deemed excess from Real Madrid, particularly Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart. Madrid have offered both as make-weights to Bayern Munich in a deal for Ribery, valuing Sneijder somewhere in the £19 million region while van der Vaart appears to be available for around £7 million.
Chelsea have been long-rumored to be interested in Aston Villa's Ashley Young and meeting Villa's £25 million valuation could further give the squad youth, speed and width on a right side that has been devastated by injuries to Joe Cole.
The sale of John Terry could really help inject some youth into an aging squad. Although the fans will never forgive Terry or Abramovich (whoever appears more the villain) and Ancelotti will do all he can to keep the perceived best central defender in England, selling John Terry could be exactly the shake-up this squad has needed for the past two seasons.
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