It's been a few days since we've heard about any movement on Chelsea's search for a new midfielder, but The Daily Mail had a little nugget stashed at the end of their match report yesterday. Here's what they had to say:
Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio was a guest at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, fuelling talk of a Chelsea move for midfielder Fredy Guarin. The Colombian is on Jose Mourinho’s radar ahead of the upcoming transfer window. Likewise, Inter have been linked with a swoop for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata. A busy day for Ausilio, perhaps.
The first sentence is what I'm going to focus on here, as that's the only actual fact being reported today. With Ausilio being in London yesterday, it would appear that there are some serious negotiations involving one or more players going on. We've had confirmed interest in Fredy Guarin already, and we've also got a youngster who has been involved with a disastrous loan spell in Milan. I'd imagine at least one of those was discussed between the clubs, and in all likelihood, both topics came up during the face to face meetings.
The last bit in the report seems laughable though. Several outlets in Italy have suggested that some sort of swap involving Juan Mata could be discussed, though I doubt it's anything Chelsea or Inter will seriously consider at the moment. There's little doubt that Mata would command a significantly larger transfer fee than Guarin, and for a team that needs to sell in order to buy, that sort of swap probably makes little sense. I'd be pretty surprised if they had the sort of funds available required to make a move in January, especially considering the list of suitors that Mata would have if he was actually made available.
Regardless of the silly swap rumors, I'd expect to start hearing something definitive on Guarin (one way or the other) in the very near future. Even if you don't rate Guarin all that highly, it's good to see that Chelsea are finally making an all-around midfielder a priority.