Things are moving quickly — at last! — as we begin the penultimate day of the January transfer window, with Chelsea scrambling desperately — what else is new? — to get a couple deals over the line.
They’re sort of related, which helps. But it also hinders.
To wit, Chelsea have been waiting for Olivier Giroud’s departure for a couple weeks now, with Inter Milan annoyingly dragging their heels. It’s unclear if Chelsea’s intentions to satisfy Lampard’s request of (short-term) goal-scoring help is dependent on Giroud leaving, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it was. But as annoying as all that had been, Inter then one-upped themselves by simply pulling the plug on the whole thing yesterday.
This left Chelsea “aghast” and Giroud “anxious” (and Conte presumably amused). Spurs stuck their noses in, just to truly make the whole situation irritating.
According to the latest reports from Italy however, we might have a last-minute solution. Gianluca Di Marzio says that Lazio have come to save the day, and have even “found an agreeement” with Chelsea for Giroud.
It’s never that simple of course, as the move is supposedly contingent on Chelsea getting our own last-minute solution over the line, namely pulling off a surprise Dries Mertens signing.
The Blues were linked with Dries Mertens out of nowhere earlier this week. His contract is up at the end of the season, but Napoli remain adamant about not selling. Di Laurentiis wants to keep him and get him to sign a new deal.
Meanwhile, The Oracle of Sarri claims that Mertens doesn’t actually want to leave either, that this is just a big game to get more money out of ADL. The Hot Days that Mertens apparently wants are to break Marek Hamšík’s Napoli scoring record (121 goals) — he’s just three shy at 118 of the man I had personally always hoped Chelsea would sign.
Di Marzio vs. Pedullà, may be the loudest Oracle win.
The one other thing that no one seems to be mentioning is that Mertens has missed the past month with an adductor problem, the same injury that’s been keeping Christian Pulisic out. Is Mertens actually good to play now? If we’re looking for short-term help, let’s please not sign an injured player!