Sportsmail strikes again. Though we may have to start giving the masked man/woman/thing a little more credit on the back of breaking the Willian negotiations last week. This time around, the Daily Mail's journo in the field, with a little help from the Mirror, suggests Chelsea are ready to make key moves for both Paul Pogba and Gregory van der Wiel.
Let's touch on Pogba first. Cool.
This one does seem somewhat plausible, with a few murmurs of our interest bubbling over the past month from a series of sources. As for the player, Pogba, 19 in March, is one of, if not the most highly rated of the kids coming out of the Manchester United youth system at the moment. The midfielder features a balanced skill set, and, at 6-foot-1, is physically built for the rigors of the Engilsh game.
As said, he's very well balanced. Good pace and shiftiness along with solid ball control and a fairly good range of passing for a player of his age. Perhaps his most impressive trait, however, is his ability to control/dictate the game from the middle of the park. He really seems to possess the kind of confidence and leadership required to orchestrate a midfield.
Is Pogba the next Patrick Vieira? Doubtful. But the fact that some are willing to make that comparison speaks to just how talented this kid is. For more on him, check out Stephen's player profile at We Ain't Got No History.
You must be wondering why United would let such a prospect jog on. Well, it may have something to do with his wage demands. The kid apparently wants around £45k per week, which is damn steep for a player yet to do the business at the Premier League level. Still, it may be worth taking a punt if the transfer fee is marginal enough. Since Pogba will be available on a free at the end of the season, as his contract at United is to expire in six months, the Mail suggests we're prepared to lodge a bid of £3 million now in order to thwart interest from the rest of the elite clubs in the country.
I, for one, don't have a problem with it if this is indeed the case. It's not that often young players of this caliber become available. and usually when they do the fees associated with them are astronomical. Odds are that, even he doesn't break into our first team on a consistent basis, he'll at least warrant a transfer similar to the one paid for him. Don't forget, Pogba would also qualify as a homegrown player.
Low risk, very high reward.
And what of van der Wiel?
I don't really know to be fair. We've been linked with him copious amounts of time over the past almost two years. To be honest, I thought he'd be a Chelsea player by now. Really, I did. Yet nothing ever came from all the rumors and jabber from the talking heads.
With our interest - if there ever was genuine interest - dwindling, Valencia swooped in and looked to have all but sealed a deal for the Dutch right back. Even the player's agent suggested that his client was tubthumbing his way to Spain. That move, however, though in the news since late December, has not been completed, and now the Mail is suggesting that the transfer is dead. Completely, entirely DEAD.
Door ajar then. So, Andre Villas-Boas walks right in with a couple LV bags of cash and sall good (Jack speak for it's all good). Not so fast, my friends. I'm going to need quite a bit more convincing before I believe we're back in for van der Wiel.
While I'd welcome our interest - and, lord knows, we're in need of a capable right fullback - I see this particular piece as a simple product of cause and effect. Valencia deal no longer on table + Chelsea interest back in the day = a few hundred words of copy. Checkmate.
That's all I got. Obviously we'll keep you posted if any new info on either of these two rumors hits the net. Until then, let us know what you think about these two players. Carefree, bitches.