One of the primary aims of Chelsea’s winter transfer window was to settle the future of Cesc Fàbregas and figure out how to replace him, should he choose to leave.
So when he did leave, the club set to work and two reasonable targets emerged almost immediately. But Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella decided he was too young to move to England and Zenit’s Leandro Paredes proved far too expensive for the role of Jorginho-backup, especially once Paris Saint-Germain entered the scene (and they eventually paid up).
It wouldn’t be a transfer window without some silliness of course, which is where Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic comes in. He was linked with Chelsea by at least one massive front page spread, even if it still looked like nothing more than a play for a new contract extension at Barcelona. Sure enough, nothing happened with the regards to midfielder, whose agent has now confirmed that those rumors were basically nonsense.
“Ivan wants to leave Spain in the summer? That’s impossible.”
-Arturo Canales; Source: Sport via Evening Standard
A few days ago, Rakitic himself doubled down on his desire to stay, which may yet become complicated with the impending arrival of future signing Frenkie de Jong from Ajax.
“Since I’ve been here I do not know how many times I’ve left and I’m back. I’m more than happy here and my intention is to be here longer. The other day I gave the president a little nudge to see if he would start my renewal.”
-Ivank Rakitic; source: Goal
Whether he stays or goes, it’s safe to say that Chelsea aren’t going to be signing any 30-year-old looking for a long-term deal on high wages, especially with our apparent new-found desire to integrate talented youth like Ethan Ampadu and (next year) Mason Mount.