The Daily Mail are reporting that Kevin De Bruyne has reached an agreement with Wolfsburg, and that the only obstacle remaining is an agreement between the clubs. The paper is reporting that Chelsea may have softened their stance on a sale, moving from flat refusal to astronomical asking price.
The Mail go on to suggest that we may eventually see a loan agreement with Wolfsburg, giving the club an option to buy during the summer. This would seemingly make more sense for Chelsea than simply accepting less than what they believe would be fair value in January, and it should appease the player who isn't happy with his lack of playing time.
Many of the papers have been writing about the need for Chelsea to sell in the future in order to buy, and to some extent this is true. If the Blues wish to continue spending as freely as they have over the past two summers, they're going to have to increase their revenue in order to do so. Jake made mention of the accounting for player sales yesterday, and you should definitely take the time to read over that article if you're at all interested in Chelsea's finances.
What's important to note here is that any sale of De Bruyne will result in a one-time boost to the books, and will only appear for the season in which the sale takes place. If Chelsea sell Kevin in January, that sale shows up on this season's books. We already know that we'll be compliant during the first FFP monitoring period, and with the additional domestic television revenue, Samsung and Adidas money, and deeper Champions League run, there is little reason to think that we'll be in any real trouble during the second.
With that in mind, there seems to be little benefit to selling De Bruyne in January unless we're planning something similar to the January 2011 spending spree. While that is certainly possible, it seems highly unlikely given the reluctance of other clubs to sell players that could fill all of Chelsea's needs.
More likely, Chelsea will do a bit of spending in January, with the bulk of their shopping done over the summer. If that's the case, it benefits Chelsea to push any potential sales back, thus helping to offset the costs of those moves by putting any transfer fee on next season's books.
In that regard, the idea of Chelsea sending De Bruyne out on loan with an option to buy makes an awful lot of sense*. While a January sale of De Bruyne would help the books during the 2015, 2016, and 2017 monitoring periods, we'd really only be seeing any benefit during the latter two. Reaching an agreement that sees the deal consummated in July assures that the sale would benefit the 2016, 2017, and 2018 monitoring periods instead, and that would be of far more benefit to Chelsea.
*Assuming they have any inclination to sell in the first place
Wolfsburg's coach also touched on De Bruyne earlier today, again confirming interest while hinting that Chelsea are asking a lot:
"We have our ideas and a price range in mind, but any further we cannot go."
"The fact that we have to pay a certain price for a player like De Bruyne is normal but we do not want to pay astronomical prices."
I'd still prefer to see Chelsea just rule out a sale entirely, unless they're so blown away by the offer that they just can't say no. Pushing the deal off until the summer makes far greater sense than simply selling in January though, so if the club are resigned to letting the player go, this course of action makes sense.
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