There are a lot of M's floating around Chelsea, if transfer rumours are to be believed. Luka Modric, Juan Mata and even Raul Meireles have been linked to the club in the past week. I'm inclined to disbelieve the Meireles rumours out of hand, because I have a hard time believing that Liverpool would be stupid enough to sell one of their most effective players last season so cheaply, but the other two sound reasonable enough.
We've hashed and re-hashed the possibility and likelihood of Modric signging for Chelsea repeatedly, and there's really no news there despite Andre Villas-Boas commenting on the potential move (we know he likes Modric because you'd have to be pants-on-head crazy not to like Modric, and apart fromt hat he doesn't really have a say in transfers). Mata is a slightly different story, because the rumour is so new - various sources have Chelsea's bid at £27M now, which would actually probably be enough to get things done from Valencia's end.
Mata would immediately solve one of Chelsea's pressing problems regarding natural width on the left side. He'd be a very interesting buy, and it's an extremely encouraging sign that the club recognises that the team as currently constructed cannot realistically challenge Manchester United in Europe or domestically. With the strength of the rumours floating about I wouldn't be surprised at all if the team ended up with both Modric and Mata, which would rather put to bed the accusations that they haven't really done anything to freshen up a squad that lost the league by a large margin and also lost Michael Essien in the summer.
But then again, I thought we were getting Javier Pastore too. Football is strange. Other bits and pieces:
- Brazilian centre half Alex played reasonable well at Stoke in the 0-0 draw apart from a couple of amusingly speculative long-range efforts at the end of the match. He also has hilariously low expectations for the West Bromwich Albion contest:
We know West Bromwich, their manager from last season Roberto Di Matteo came here and has told us about them, we know how we need to play, and if we play like we did against Stoke we can score one, two or three goals.
- Atletico Madrid have added Colombian striker Radamel Falcao to the mix in order to replace Sergio Aguero, who is of course now at Manchester City. The Porto forward had been linked to a move to London after Chelsea snapped up Andre Villas-Boas early in the summer, but the centre forward situation at Stamford Bridge rather precluded any of that, and there was no chance Chelsea would pay huge money after Porto signed him to a new contract with a much higher release clause. Atletico, on the other hand, are flush with Aguero cash, and had an obvious need at striker. It's a good move for them at €40M.