A couple mild rumors to help you while away the day as we wait for Antonio Conte’s press conference, look forward to the Friday Night FA Cup Lights, and count down the days to the Match of the Season on Tuesday. Chances are neither of these rumors are anything to get too worked up about, but that’s about par for the course for a rare open midweek for Chelsea this season.
First up is Luke Shaw, who keeps being linked back to Chelsea after the club passed on him a few years ago when we weren’t willing to meet his wage requirements. Ironically, it was José Mourinho who advised strongly against signing the former Southampton left back, though the Special One has apparently learned to tolerate Shaw at United after a rocky start to their relationship. It’s the “evolution of his potential” or some such.
In fact, Mourinho now apparently is more than happy to give Shaw a new contract — the current one expires in 2019 — with the Mail reporting that should those talks go south, Chelsea (or Arsenal) could be willing to catch 22-year-old with open arms. A bit of agent shenanigans then, which would’ve made a bit more sense for the Blues before spending a decent amount on Emerson Palmieri just last month.
Another contract expiring in 2019 is Toby Alderweireld’s at White Hart Lane, though Spurs do have a one-year extension option on it. But given the usual issues at Spurs, including Alderweireld possibly looking for one final big payday and the seemingly not-quite-ideal relationship with head coach Mauricio Pochettino, it’s suddenly not so sensational to imagine him leaving — especially as a £25m release clause would also apparently become active if the option is exercised. That’s an absolute pittance in today’s market for one of the best defenders in the league, and so the Mirror claim that Chelsea and both Manchesters are “watching developments closely”. They’d be silly not to.
Like the Shaw situation, with just random names and vague interest thrown about, this is unlikely to be anything more than a bit of agenting. But this is probably not the last time we hear of either rumor.