International breaks tend to generate more than their fair share of transfer rumors and while we’ve touched on several of the big ones swirling around Chelsea Football Club at the moment (Mikel, Fabregas, Oscar OUT; Romagnoli, Keane, Verratti IN), here are a few others that maybe aren’t worthy of mention on their own, but by their powers combined etc etc etc. Heart!
On the outgoing side of the ledger, we’ve got veterans John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic. JT’s of course a club legend and Mr. Chelsea and all that, but after multiple one-year contract extensions, he now truly looks to be nearing the end of his playing career. Though if the Mirror’s to be believed, his move to China may yet become a reality. We’ve heard this before of course, but the latest twist is that JT might reunited with ... wait for it ... AVB at Shanghai SIPG. Because, you know, those two got along famously back in the day. I hear Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba (and Roberto Di Matteo!) are available, too, Andre, if you really want to get the band back together.
If you think that’s outrageous, just wait for the next one. Mundo Deportivo (via the Mail) claim that none other than Barcelona are looking at Branislav Ivanovic. Laughter seems such an under-reaction here. But wait, Ivanovic would like to renew his contract with Chelsea instead! Then again, it’s 2016 and literally anything can happen in 2016.
In slightly more realistic domestic rumors, Chelsea could be looking at Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson as a homegrown defensive signing. Gibson has been quite good for Boro for a few years now, so he could very much fall into a Gary Cahill-type of signing. This one’s also from the Mail and while there’s no price mentioned, Gibson would probably cost around the same as Michael Keane, and the Burnley center back’s price tag is at least £25m.
Moving over to Europe, we have a trio of Serie A stars linked with Chelsea, as has been the norm since Antonio Conte took over in the summer. None of the three names are new, but perhaps the developments are.
First, we have Internazionale’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, who’s apparently still unsettled (according to Nizaar Kinsella’s EXCLUSIVE at Goal) despite the recent switch of head coach at the storied yet struggling Milan club. That’s another £25m at least, and that’s assuming Kondogbia would be willing to move from one backup role to another.
BONUS RUMOR BREAK: Remember Amadeu Diawara? We’ve been linked again, because why not.
Next up, we get more hearsay-y with Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj, who recently revealed he’s just as bored by all this speculation as you are. A man of the people! Mediaset Premium (via Calciomercato) would have us believe that La Viola are only valuing the Croatian international at €12m and since that much money barely tips the scales at Chelsea, we are suddenly “in pole position” for the midfielder. Booyah!
Last but certainly not least, the Gianluigi
Newbuffon Donnarumma rumors are back. Probably because he’s looking for a new contract and rumors claim that Chelsea would be willing to offer €4m per year. I suppose if Courtois decides to ditch us, this might be a wise course of action, but until then, it’s probably nothing more than Mino Raiola (yes, he’s the 17-year-old’s agent) stirring the pot like a good superagent should.
“I can’t exclude anything really. I can’t even exclude that I’ll be the next president of Italy and I can’t even exclude that Donnarumma will play somewhere else one day.”
“This guy is like a Modigliani, he’s the combined Pele and Maradona of goalkeepers. There are unlimited possibilities for him in the transfer market.”
-Mino Raiola; source: Corriere della Sera via Squawka
Modigliani was famous for painting distorted nude portraits, living a fast and furious life of debauchery, and not finding success until after his death from TB meningitis at age 35. Perhaps he was also a really good goalkeeper. Also, Raiola for president! Vote now.