Bad news for the many of you who don't like the idea of an Alvaro Pereira move very much. Having rejected an initial bid of £16.6M for the left-sided utilityman, FC Porto have now apparently left him off the squad for their Super Cup match against Barcelona. When players go randomly missing, that's a sure sign that they're close to making a move (unless they're Luka Modric, in which case they're 'confused'), so you should be on high alert for a Pereira deal soon.
There have been reports that Portuguese paper A Bola, whom you may remember from the David Luiz buy, the Andre Villas-Boas craze, and the Radamel Falcao transfer that never actually happened (two out of three isn't bad, eh?), is reporting that Chelsea are about to spend €30M to acquire Pereira, but I've just been through their site and can't find anything of the sort, so I'm going to have to regard that particular rumour as bogus.
Still, it looks as though there's a fairly good chance Chelsea and Porto will come to an agreement here. It's a little weird that the two players most closely linked with a move from the Estadio Dragao appear to be guys we don't strictly need (i.e. Falcao and Pereira) vs. those we do (Hulk!), because Pereira doesn't really do much that we don't currently have. We'll have a profile on the Uruguayan up soon, but essentially he's a much healthier version of the recently-departed Yuri Zhirkov that trades finesse for power.
If Chelsea do buy Pereira, it's difficult to see him as a starter in the squad as it's currently constructed, assuming Juan Mata starts at left winger and Ashley Cole at left back. Instead, it would seem that Andre Villas-Boas wants a versatile utility player capable of fitting in anywhere on the left side (including, supposedly, central midfield, although we'll see how that goes), and coming off the bench that would actually quite a valuable asset. However, it's not a £16.6M one, let alone worth €30M, so I'd have trouble reconciling any move for Pereira with the way the rest of the summer's gone. Chelsea have spent their money efficiently enough that they can afford to overpay for a star... but for a guy one would expect to be a squad player? I don't like it. I really don't like it.
That's not to say I don't like Pereira, of course - he's a fine player. But nothing about this move has ever made any sense to me, and it sure isn't becoming clearer the closer we get to a signing. If there is a signing, of course.