If the Oracle of Sarri is to be believed, Chelsea are poised to make a new bid on Wednesday for Juventus centre back Daniele Rugani. The Oracle is Alfredo Pedullà and he’s making multiple claims.
Chelsea's Granovskaia spoke with Paratici regarding Rugani who Juventus will only sell for €50m. Talks expected to continue tomorrow along with a formal offer from the Blue's. [Pedulla]— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) July 17, 2018
The first thing that merits attention is Pedullà’s assertion that Marina Granovskaia is now the one doing the talking for Chelsea. Earlier reports had occasional Chelsea representative Fali Ramadani meeting with Juve’s Sporting Director, Fabio Paritici. If Pedullà’s claim about Granovskaia is correct, then it would indeed indicate that things are coming to a head.
The other piece of news is that apparently Maurizio Sarri wants Rugani in camp by the weekend, before the first pre-season match, against Perth Glory on Monday, July 23rd. Chelsea are set to depart for Australia after Sarri’s press conference on Wednesday afternoon, so any new signings (the report throws in Higuain, too, because why not) would have to jet out by themselves to join up. That seems a bit silly, to fly people halfway around the world just for a day or two, but that’s Silly Season for ya.
Sportitalia claim #CFC chief Marina Granovskaia spoke to #Juventus today and Daniele Rugani talks will intensify tomorrow with €50m asking price, but Gonzalo Higuain comes later https://t.co/vzvuezhnid pic.twitter.com/LPlSASSa0G— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 17, 2018
As for the Rugani money, the €50m (£45m) is in line with earlier reports that Chelsea were willing to go above £40m. We’ll find out soon enough if any of this us true, but at least the numbers look consistent.
One thing that does make sense, having listened to Nathaniel Chalobah’s description of Sarri’s ultra-detailed coaching methods, is that the squad will struggle to learn everything the new head coach wants them to before the season starts. An obvious shortcut is to bring in players who already know Sarrismo and can spread the gospel to the others. Jorginho was the first. Rugani (who played for him at Empoli) and Higauin (at Napoli) would be the second and third. And that probably explains why Chelsea are constantly being linked to an aging (30 years old) striker in Higuain, who wants a new contract but whose production is declining and for whom Juve want a pretty penny (rumored to be €60m). Personally, I’m a little more skeptical about this part of the story.