Hour by hour, day by day, we get closer to the end of the transfer window. Not that it matters because for all intents and purposes, Chelsea look done in the transfer market already. Unless we're talking Wayne Rooney of course, but then again nobody is talking Wayne Rooney because what's there to talk about anyway? Except this guy, who claims to be super ITK.
So we have "Rooney or bust" for any forward reinforcements and we have "No, we are fine for midfield players" for any midfield reinforcements. So you can't help but laugh when the Daily Mirror says something like "Mourinho is desperate to strengthen his midfield" purely for the sake of narrative and easy copy.
But let's indulge ourselves for a minute, shall we? Sure, we are "fine" for midfield players, but we'd be great if we signed somebody who could prove an instant upgrade in the starting lineup. So let's have a (fantasy) poll. Given the following options, all of whom should comfortably fit into our remaining £30m transfer budget, whom would you prefer?
- SAMI KHEDIRA, 26 - Apparently he and Mourinho were besties in the tumultuous and cut-throat battlefield of the Real Madrid locker room, or some such. Which is of course hardly of any consequence. What does matter is that Khedira is a consistently excellent box-to-box midfielder - a tall, strong midfield general, if you will, just because I love that term - who'd walk into our starting lineup with ease. And if you don't agree with my opinion then I will shake my head and call you a doodyhead. And then call on the Glorious Armies of Khedira to lay siege to your home and steal all your flowers and wind-chimes.
- DANIELE DE ROSSI, 30 - This one had simmered along nicely in a distinguished manner fit for De Rossi's manly beard for a while, but things have gone cold since Totti's birthday-greeting-video-card flanking maneuver. Back from vacation, DDR is back in training with the rest of the Roma crew and looking likely to stay. Unless he ends up at Fiorentina.
- LUIZ GUSTAVO, 26 - He's about third choice if not fourth at Bayern Munich nowadays and that particular arrangement has resulted in his name appearing in the pages of tabloids as someone who is open to a move away from Pep. Inconceivable, I know. He was quite excellent in the one season Bayern lost to Chelsea in the Champions League final but that was centuries ago and he's surely terrible by now. He's not even good enough to beat out Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez for a starting spot. Ruuuubbish.
- İLKAY GÜNDOĞAN, 22 - Ho-hum, just another all-star out of Borussia Dortmund; linked recently with Manchester United. It might only be a cheap contract extension trick of course, with Daddy Gündogan now running his mouth to the media in yet another example of parents talking when they shouldn't. But if Gündogan is available, as unlikely as that may be... if, if, if, if, if... etc.
- MARCO VERRATTI, 20 - Graham is not a fan. Are you?
- ÉTIENNE CAPOUE, 25 - Graham is a fan. Are you?