It's been more than two weeks since the summer transfer window opened, and Chelsea still don't have a right back. How dare they! Anyway, we'd been focusing a lot on the likes of Inter Milan's Maicon and Marseille's Cesar Azpilicueta, for fairly obvious reasons, but a quote from Mathieu Debuchy in L'Equipe, although not connecting the France fullback to us directly, is of some interest:
Despite my commitment to Lille - the club is in my heart - I am 100% committed to leaving. I want to leave LOSC. The coach wants to keep me but I will not change my opinion. The discussions are not going very well. For now I am stuck in Lille.
LOSC want to find my replacement before I am released. Ten, 15 players have been suggested to them but still nothing happens. There must be a little goodwill. It disappoints me and bothers me. Newcastle are one of my priorities. Inter are interested too. Newcastle have, already offered €5 million, but I don't know how much Lille want.
-via ESPN Soccernet.
So, Debuchy wants to leave Lille, Lille will let him go but want to find a replacement first (hey, Jose Bosingwa's available on a free. Snap that Bosman up, yo!) and probably want more than the €5M Newcastle have offered to get the deal done. Chelsea are not yet involved.
€5M! That's about €10M less than I was expecting the bidding for Debuchy to be at at this point, and it opens the door for Chelsea to make a move on him. The reason that I'd have preferred a Maicon over Debuchy (an aging backup rather than an in-their-prime starter) is because his backup-ness lowers his cost without really lowering the effectiveness for Chelsea. All the Blues need is someone to effectively share time with Branislav Ivanovic.
But if Debuchy is priced like a backup, the fact that he can start is actually a bonus. There's no reason Chelsea shouldn't jump in with an offer above €5M right now -- that's the invite implicit in his quotes, incidentally -- and I'd be ok with an offer twice that size. I'm not sure if Debuchy would want to come to Stamford Bridge with our current fullback situation, but there's certainly no harm in asking if he'd be interested in an offer.
Time to go a-hijacking!