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Chelsea Bid For Liverpool Midfielder Rejected

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Could Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres be reunited?
Could Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres be reunited?

According to prettty much everyone on the internet, Chelsea have had a bid for Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles rejected by Liverpool, and said reports cite the Blues' offer as £8M cash plus the services of one Yossi Benayoun. Meireles, of course, has a very tenuous Chelsea connection thanks to his roughly five minutes of working with Andre Villas-Boas before Porto sent him to Liverpool last summer for £11.5M.

It's widely assumed that Villas-Boas actually shipped the 28-year-old out, but I think that's misunderstanding how transfers work for teams like Porto - the manager was probably ok with Meireles leaving, but it was the sporting director who really made the sale there. The fact that Meireles was sold under Villas-Boas' watch doesn't mean much in terms of what he thinks of the midfielder's abilities.

Personally, I think Meireles would be a good pickup for Chelsea's midfield. Although he had a poor start to his Liverpool career, he was excellent under Kenny Dalglish and the Blues could definitely need some help there. He's no Frank Lampard, goal at Stamford Bridge aside, but he is quite good at keeping attacks moving in a way that Lampard perhaps is not - he'd certainly link up with Fernando Torres better than the England man has.

That doesn't mean Meireles is perfect, of course. He's 28, which means he'd only be a stopgap rather than a long-term signing. He's also merely good rather than great at what he does, and the only reason Chelsea would be looking at him is because they're severely deficient in their ability to keep the ball moving. He does at least notch a few assists, which is nice.

I had a quick word (i.e. Twitter exchange) with Paul Tomkins of the Tomkins Times and he mentioned that he thought Chelsea throwing another £4M into the pot should get the job done. At £12M plus Yossi Benayoun, I'm not sure how good a deal that would be, but it'd almost certainly be a better value than whatever silly amount Tottenham Hotspur are demanding for Luka Modric these days.

This isn't a sexy deal by any means, but it might be what the Blues need to keep them ticking this season. The question, really, is whether he'd be better at that price than Chelsea's alternatives in midfield... and that's rather open for debate.