It's not often that Chelsea do not get their man.
Even though we have just one Premier League title in the last eight seasons, once we identify a target, we usually succeed in acquiring him. Some come because of the money, some because of our European pedigree, and, lately, some because of a phone call from Mourinho. But every once in a while, it doesn't quite work out. It seems that Mehdi Benatia was one of those cases.
While it's not clear just how serious our pursuit of the 27-year-old center back was, or whether we were in it just because the bidding was so low or if we made it a priority to acquire the highly talented player to reinforce our back line, the story ends with the Moroccan choosing to go with to Bayern Munich instead.
"Manchester City and Chelsea wanted me, while there were also approaches from Real Madrid and Barcelona."
"I discussed my future with Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini. He told me that the club wanted to hold on to me, but that they needed the money from a sale. That annoyed me, because I initially wanted to stay put."
"But let it be clear, I was happy to join Bayern Munich. I like Munich - even if it's a bit cold here."
-Mehdi Benatia; source: Kicker via Goal
I suppose the takeaway here is that Chelsea do seem to realize that despite our stellar defensive record last season, our back line needs reinforcing. The likes of Zouma or Christensen are certainly high ceiling prospects, but Terry doesn't have much left, Ivanovic is pushing 31 (and has played center back regularly for about 6 months out of the last five years), and Even Cahill can be prone to reverting to something less than ordinary on occasion. Our future may be set if the youngsters develop as expected (and/or we perhaps acquire a certain young center back from Real Madrid), but in the short-term -- say, next summer -- a proper top class center back may in fact be a need.