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Chelsea linked with potential future free agents Lionel Messi, David Alaba

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The Thiago Silva model

Soccer - UEFA Champions League Semifinal - Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona Photo by sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Chelsea made plenty of headlines this summer with our relatively lavish spending in pandemic conditions, so the arrival of Thiago Silva on a free transfer didn’t make much of a splash, regardless of his legendary status in the world of football. But the 36-year-old’s immediate impact at Stamford Bridge has certainly mades sure that those waves are only growing taller and taller. Surf’s up!

The success of this opportunistic veteran addition to the Blues is unlikely to change our general transfer policy of long-term planning with youth, but it has certainly inspired the rumor mill to cook up copycat ideas, such as Chelsea going after Lionel Messi next summer, if/when his contract expires (again).

That’s the story from ESPN’s Guillem Balague, who puts Chelsea “in the equation” for the life-long Barcelona man whose time at Barcelona looks to be ending (again). Will he actually leave next summer? Based on his decision last summer, probably not even he knows. And if he does, Manchester City (and newly extended Pep Guardiola) will once again be in the lead for him, alongside usual names like PSG, Juventus, and Inter Milan as well.

But hey, if Messi’s free, it’s worth a shot.

Slightly less outrageous might be Chelsea going after Bayern Munich lifer David Alaba, who was already linked last January and last summer as well, as his contract was beginning to expire. Well, that contract is now even closer to expiry, and starting in January, the 28-year-old (only 28, somehow!) will be free to talk with other teams.

According to multiple reports in Germany, one of those teams will be Chelsea — or at least one of those teams his agent, Pini Zahavi is dangling in front of the media to either generate interest of generate a contract renewal, are Chelsea.

That means probably very little in the real world, but just like the Messi story, if Alaba’s free, he might be worth a minute or two of our time.