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The Daniele De Rossi talk starts up again

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Clive Mason

We heard plenty about Daniele De Rossi at the end of last season, with Chelsea supposedly in contact with Roma about acquiring the combative midfielder. And now that the Italians have acquired Kevin Strootman from PSV Eindhoven, De Rossi looks like he's expendable. Naturally, that's caused the rumour mill to start up again, and various sources in the British and Italian media are reporting that a deal is imminent. Let's link the Independent, just because I currently have the tab open.

De Rossi is, of course, an excellent player, and he'd help the team, but I suspect that much of the enthusiasm regarding his purchase would be tempered by his actual cost of acquisition becoming public knowledge. It's all well and good claiming that he's cheap at somewhere between £11-15 million, but with his wages already at close to £9 million a season (that's £170,000 a week) it's difficult to claim with a straight face that he'd be some sort of bargain buy.

Maybe that's ok, and Chelsea's focus on youth can be selectively ignored when a player who can help shore up the squad is made available, but if we do pick up De Rossi without him taking a major paycut he'll almost certainly be our most expensive acquisition of the summer. If we're willing to endorse that sort of deal, fine -- it's undeniable that he provides something that the current midfield lacks -- but that we're in this position is a reminder that the midfield has been mis-managed for quite some time now.

But if you want to talk likelihood of De Rossi happening... well, I think this almost certainly has legs. Chelsea have a hole in midfield and there aren't many players available who can patch it up. Roma have a pseudo-replacement on board and won't mind being rid of De Rossi's wages. De Rossi might not want to go, but if his club's seeking to sell him I'm sure he can see the writing on the wall. A deal here wouldn't surprise me at all.