The Fábio Coentrão links are back

Angel Martinez

Exotic left-backs from Spain? Why not?

Remember that time a couple of seasons back when we'd been linked to Fabio Coentrao? Of course, it ended up being a bit of a stretch there as Real Madrid ended up blowing the competition out of the water by throwing £28M + a player Benfica's way.

At that point, Coentrao was another from the assembly line of future stars Benfica was cultivating and his arrival at the Bernabeu was widely seen as a bona-fide Mourinho signing.

Needless to say, it didn't really work out for him there, as a combination of blazing form on Marcelo's part and a few sloppy performances by the Portuguese in big games meant Coentrao was effectively second choice left-back at Real even before his debut season was over.

Regardless, with Mourinho having left Real and counting the days till his appointment at Chelsea is confirmed, there's gonna be practically non-stop links between us and his compatriots at Madrid. While some would be perfectly happy to stay there, some might just be about to make a beeline for the exit.

Anyway, Coentrao was interviewed by O Jogo a few days back. He had plenty to get off his chest by the sound of it, and so in his best sad panda impression, he said:

"At the moment, it seems that everyone wants me to leave the club. I don't know what I've done to them."

"It seems like they haven't wanted me here from day one."

Further, he hasn't seemed to have taken very kindly to talk about him being one of the first to be moved out behind Jose, and his disappointment was clearly showing:

"If they're not happy with me, no problem, we'll find a solution."

It's no secret Coentrao's struggled to make an impact since his big money move, starting only 36 games for them across two seasons. With the left-back situation at Real with Marcelo not seeming particularly likely to change, there's very few upsides to staying there for someone who was regarded as the best upcoming left-back in Europe not two years ago unless he's determined to challenge for a role.

That hasn't gone so well for him at Real, but one place where it might actually end up being a relatively simpler task would be right here, at Chelsea. With Cole not getting any younger or better, and Ryan Bertrand seeming a long way off from being able to fill the void full time, a move for Coentrao wouldn't be the worst idea.

He'd be a solid deputy, a like-for-like replacement in terms of attacking tendency, and although his defending may presently be a bit suspect, he has enough years of learning ahead of him. What's more, we could comfortably afford his wages, and if Real are indeed looking to offload him, wouldn't end up having to pay a particularly large sum to acquire his services.

When questioned about the possibility of a move to Chelsea and working under Mourinho again, here's what Coentrao had to say:

"If I leave Real Madrid, I'm not closing the door to anyone. We have to find a solution that is good for both the club and myself so that no-one loses out."

In all probability, you can make a case for this one having some legs. Coentrao could certainly do with a new challenge to revive his fledgling career, and with Cole gradually bowing out, playing time would be no issue at all. Neither would be settling down, what with the burgeoning Portuguese speaking contingent at the Bridge already. Plus Mourinho and reasons and stuff.

Sky ran the same set of quotes from the interview as well. Metro went one step ahead and asserted he'd be available for as low as £8M (because let's face it, nothing screams 'believable rumour' like a club with no pressing need for money offering a young, potential star they spent an absurd sum on for a quarter of that).

The timing of the rumour isn't questionable, but I can't help but notice it has oddly coincided with the Luke Shaw talk beginning to quieten just a bit. Which one would we be better off having? Ah, the luxury of choices — silly season ahoy!

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