If you have a player to sell or a contract to negotiate, there are few better ways to gain leverage than to bring Chelsea (or other big, rich clubs) into the conversation. Someone not offering enough in transfer fees? Oh, I heard Chelsea are interested. Someone a bit stingy with the pursestrings on the weekly wages? Well Chelsea could certainly trump that piddly little offer quite easily, don't you think?
With that in mind, here's the Surrey Mirror, taking a break from their daily hot topics of collapsed sewers, surprise Environment Agency visits at the local landfill, and Max Chilton, with the lowdown.
Reports from Croatia suggest Chelsea supremo Jose Mourinho is preparing a late bid for Southampton defender Dejan Lovren that will blow rivals Liverpool 'out the water'.
-source: Surrey Mirror
I admit I didn't really bother searching for any of these supposed reports in Croatia. I'm not sure they matter much either way, just like, say, those reports in Portugal that link every player with just about every team (who's buying William Carvalho now?). Plus, shouldn't the player be back in Southampton by now anyway?
So, Dejan Lovren, 25. Certainly good enough for the Premier League. He cost £8.5m for Saints to sign last summer and he should go for double that amount, easily this summer. Liverpool's bid is around £20m supposedly. Supposedly, they're also very close to sealing the deal, with perhaps a few final details left to be worked out. Which is where the Chelsea-leverage may come in handy for one negotiating side or the other.
That being said, Lovren does add another name to the center back rumors as of late, joining Atlético's Joao Miranda and Roma's Mehdi Benatia as potential Chelsea targets. Though with three quality center backs in the squad already, a few highly promising youngsters ready to step up as soon as next season, and Mourinho's proclamation of Chelsea's business being "done" for the summer, I think this is just another case of a bit smoke, but no fire.