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Chelsea rumor mill spinning in circles: Havertz talks, Declan Rice £50m bid ... or not

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Silly Season in full effect

Ore which has been broken up in a stamping mill being reduced further by passing through a grinding mill. The mill is driven by a water wheel, out of the picture to right, through axle, A. Told and tin ore were treated in this way. From De re metallica, b...
From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut
Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images

The Chelsea rumor mill must be experiencing some technical difficulties, as we appear to be just spinning around without anything coming out the other side. This isn’t too rare of an occurrence of course, and can usually be fixed by giving it a good kicking, or simply ignoring it for a few weeks.

But we’re gluttons for punishment and juicy clicks, so let’s try to diagnose what’s happening here.

First up, Chelsea’s primary target (supposedly), Kai Havertz, whose season officially ended last night as Bayer Leverkusen lost to Inter Milan (thank you, Antonio Conte & Romelu Lukaku). Leverkusen were adamant about not selling before then, but it didn’t take long for them to start taking the p*ss already, with Bayer boss Peter Bosz cracking a joke about Havertz going to the Eredivisie instead. Funny guy.

And while the likes of Christian Falk and Fabrizio Romano are continuing to push the prior narrative, with Chelsea (re-?)starting talks over the 20-year-old’s transfer fee (personal terms have reportedly been agreed already), some hints are starting emerging about Chelsea maybe not pushing as hard as we’ve been led to believe.

Lampard himself phrased an answer recently in a way that could be seen to downplay the Havertz possibility, while here’s the Athletic’s Simon Johnson relaying a “trusted Chelsea source” that the club may not feel the need to add more to the attack after Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner — which may not be too far from common sense.

Havertz is a fantastic, maybe even generational talent, so passing up a chance to sign him could be a mistake, but the team’s bigger issues at the moment lie in defending and playing without the ball. Havertz, as great as he is and as ridiculously great as he will become, is not exactly a fix for that.

Someone who would be (part of) a fix for sure is West Ham’s Declan Rice, but he’s also stuck in the mill and just spinning round and round.

(He’s actually vacationing in Mykonos with best pals Mason Mount, Ryan Fredericks, and William Troost-Ekong, much to the delight of the rumor-mongers. Meanwhile, it seems like every Premier League footballer is vacationing in Mykonos at the moment, whether they’re friends or not. But I digress.)

Earlier today, reports from Italy emerged about Chelsea submitting a £50m bid for Rice, but those were quickly debunked by reports closer to home. The £50m did sound reasonable but a bit low given West Ham’s prior demands.

So, where does that leave us. Well, same place as before, unfortunately. Silly Season can be quite tiring. Hopefully you’ve been training and staying hydrated.

Also, why not both?