About a week ago, rumours were coming think and fast that Chelsea were looking to take West Ham United's Scott Parker out of the nPower Championship on a season-long loan deal. It made decent sense for Chelsea, providing the loan fee wasn't too high, but a loan move at non-astronomical prices would have been a little more difficult to stomach for the newly relegated club. And on top of that, there are pretty strong rumours of Aston Villa putting in a bid for the midfielder (and on a permanent transfer, to boot).
It comes as little surprise, then, that the rumours of a loan deal appear to be more or less dead:
At the moment we are in a position where there are no bids to consider for Scott Parker. As far as I am aware the loan deal is out of the question. There is still a long way to go before the end of the transfer window and a lot of clubs could find they are missing something and could pounce on one of the quality players we have got here.
-Sam Allardyce, West Ham United manager. Source: talkSPORT.
If Chelsea still want to chase Parker, it's going to be a permanent transfer, and it's going to be fairly pricey. We're talking in the area of £8M for a 31-year-old who doesn't figure to be a regular first team starter in the medium or long term, and we'd be competing with a team in Aston Villa whose need for a Parker-type (in the long run) is significantly higher than ours.
I was fine with the idea of getting Parker back for a year and then sending him back to West Ham, but in terms of permanent acquisitions, the Blues can and should do far better. To Villa Park with you, Scott.