We’ve reached the final day of July and are set to complete the second month of the 2018 summer transfer window with nary a change to the Chelsea playing squad that was not good enough to qualify for the Champions League. Sure, Jorginho is a significant signing, but the list starts and ends with him. And sure, Sarri might make things more “fun”, at least for a bit. But other than swapping a third goalkeeper, we’ve done little else.
In classic style, Chelsea have once again left things very late. Granted, the newly shortened transfer window and the World Cup didn’t do anyone any favors, but we certainly haven’t helped ourselves either (just look at the whole Conte/Sarri fiasco, which continues in lawyer-world still).
There’s little use crying about that now however. We have less than 10 days to sort everything out, including any additional signings, and figuring out the situations of Thibaut Courtois, Willian, and Eden Hazard.
The latter is perhaps the easiest. He stays. Real have not made a bid, he hasn’t pushed for anything, and Chelsea have shown at least some measurable amount of ambition to entice him to stay. He has two years to go on his contract, and maybe more if he ever signs the extension.
Also looks to be staying is Willian, despite a summer-long assumption of his decamping to Manchester United or Barcelona. Barca are out and United have had their own drama to deal with. Real Madrid popped up out of nowhere yesterday, only for Willian to appear in a well-time interview to pledge his future to the club. He also has two years left on his contract, but is about to turn 30, so there may not be a long-term extension coming.
Real Madrid haven’t made a formal offer for Eden Hazard so far (although there have been informal talks), Real deny that they have made a bid for Willian, but Courtois is definitely a target.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) July 30, 2018
And then there is Thibaut Courtois, who basically had both feet out the door two months ago. But it must be a pretty tiny door because the rest of his not-short self is stuck on this side. He needs a helpful boot up the backside from his replacement, but Chelsea have not found this mystery man yet (unless Marcin Bulka tears off his mask, Mission:Impossible-style and reveals himself to be the answer we were looking for all along). Even the rumor mill is surprisingly quiet and weak in this regard.
So even though Terreur once again confirms that Courtois is definitely a Real Madrid target, nothing’s going to happen until Chelsea secure a replacement. We could of course send Courtois on his way without one but how much is the risk of tackling the season with Caballero, Green, and Bulka as the three goalkeepers going to cost us? Quite possibly more than the €35m Real Madrid are set to pay for Courtois.
And so we wait.