July's here, and as if on cue, sports outlets all across Europe have gone into overdrive, seemingly prepared to readily loosen the definition of worlds like outrageous, implausible and various others. Today though, they have us linked to a young Italian prodigy.
According to Mediaset, it'd appear Chelsea have been casting glances AC Milan's way, specifically at ridiculously talented left-forward Stephan El Shaarawy, who broke out for the Rossoneri last season and basically carried a team of veterans on his back in the league with a remarkable 16 goal haul.
Mediaset originally broke news of this a day ago, wherein it was suggested Chelsea were interested in securing the youngster's services, with Express going ahead and quoting an asking price of £30m later in the day. The report from Mediaset would seem pretty laughable at first glance, except they ran it again, this time suggesting a move could be on, with the supreme lord of the Golden Boots, Fernando Torres, heading in the opposite direction. Not only that, El Shaarawy was touted as a possible alternative to Edinson Cavani.
At this point, it's hard to get excited about anything related to this rumour, since on taking a closer look, it becomes evident the report basically shoots itself in the foot by attempting (and miserably failing) to present a massive contradiction as a plausible reality.
Come to think of it, while it'd make sense for a club like Milan with fairly well-documented financial woes to readily come to the table for discussions about a potential move — and they'd indeed be getting a nice sum and a decent striker in return, selling a highly rated youngster for financially prudent reasons comes across as a pretty hollow move, especially when the trade-off is receiving a striker on astronomically higher wages than the player they'd replace, something that would immediately offset a large portion of any financial gain Milan might hope to make by cutting a deal. Not least when you consider the fact that El Shaarawy has loads of talent and many years ahead of him to improve and mature into a commodity with a considerably higher market value.
What might point toward the possibility of a move then? Well, for starters, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has revealed he's set to meet El Shaarawy this week for detailed discussion over the player's future. That, and the fact that failure in their pursuit of a marquee striker (after Tevez joined Juventus) has irked some fans and put pressure on the club to bolster their attacking options after a season that saw the team flatter to deceive.
At the moment, this is all smoke and no substance, but if negotiations for Cavani indeed turn sour, it might just be that the club decide to test Milan's resolve on the matter, what with Mourinho reportedly a fan of the Italian. It's a typically silly rumour, but with silly season well and truly upon us, it's no less than I'd expect.