Although most transfer rumours, especially in May, tend to be on the silly side of things, very rarely are they completely and utterly insane. Even the misguided ones tend to make some degree of sense in a twisted sort of way. It's pretty rare to encounter a reputable rumour that is indisputably pants-on-head crazy.
But one rumour making the rounds recently falls squarely into that category: Raphael Varane to Chelsea. Varane, 19, is a starting centre half for Real Madrid. He is very, very good, perhaps the premier young defender in football. And, many are suggesting, Chelsea could acquire him this summer.
This strikes me as utterly absurd, buyout clause or no. Here are the reasons Raphael Varane would have for joining Chelsea:
- He might like Jose Mourinho a lot.
Here are the reasons he would have to not join Chelsea:
- Real Madrid pay more.
- Real Madrid are more prestigious.
- Real Madrid are better.
- Varane would have to join an unfamiliar team.
- Varane would have to live in London rather than Madrid.
And that's just if Chelsea pay Varane's buyout clause, which may or may not be feasible -- it's rumoured to be somewhere between €15 and €150 million. Paying the buyout would circumvent Madrid but by no means would that guarantee that he'd leave the Santiago Bernabeu. Interestingly enough, a similar situation was supposed to have played out a couple of years ago with Thiago Alcantara, when a bid from Chelsea activated the midfielder's release clause, a scenario which ended up granting him a new contract at Barcelona.
If the Blues have to negotiate with Real Madrid over Varane, here are the reasons that they'd be tempted to sell:
And here are the reasons they wouldn't:
- Varane is their best young player.
- Varane is their best defender.
- Varane is irreplacable.
- Varane is relatively cheap.
There is literally no reason for Madrid to let Varane go for anything other than an astronomically high price. He's one of the anchors around which a team can be built, and Madrid have no reason to sell anyone they'd rather keep. There's every chance that Varane spends the entirety of the next decade in their starting lineup.
This rumour is utterly mad. Either Madrid are insane enough to let him go, in which case every single person in that organisation should be committed to psychiatric care, I've gone mental, or everyone else has.