The clock really is ticking for Chelsea. Just don’t mention what happened in 2016 when they left it late…
This is a wonderful line from The Sun‘s back-page exclusive that Chelsea players want Richarlison at the club:
‘But fiery Brazilian Richarlison’s characteristic aggression and tenacity are seen as decisive factors in the minds of some players.
‘The South American hothead has been hit with an FA charge for hurling a smoke bomb into the crowd at Goodison Park least season in celebration at scoring against Chelsea.’
Yes. That’s what Chelsea are missing. Not goals – after all, Richarlison scored only 10 of those last season – but smoke bombs being hurled into crowds.
Sign/fire him up.
Sometimes the snow comes down in June
Elsewhere in The Sun, the usual consternation about Chelsea not yet signing any players abounds.
Never mind that Chelsea are just hours into having a new recruitment structure and have literally not been able to negotiate for new players or indeed with their own players for months, why the hell haven’t they signed anybody while Manchester City and Liverpool have already been busy?
‘While Tuchel has been talking exit terms for the player bought to transform Chelsea into title contenders, City and Liverpool have already secured reinforcements.’
Well, yes. They have established recruitment teams and have not been operating under a transfer ban.
‘Champions City and Liverpool are the teams Chelsea need to catch if they want to regain the Premier League title after a six-year gap.
‘Right now last season’s top two are heading in one direction and Chelsea the other.’
It’s June 23. Mind you, The Sun had wheeled out the cracked Chelsea badge by late May.
‘Already Chelsea – who finished 19 points behind City and 18 adrift of Liverpool last term – are being left even further behind by the two northern juggernauts.’
Already? On June 23.
Let’s take a little walk down memory lane to the summer of 2016 now, after Chelsea had finished 10th in the Premier League – 31 points behind champions Leicester City and 16 points behind Manchester United and Manchester City, who had brought in Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
You may remember that Chelsea then won the title in 2016/17, so presumably they had all their transfer business completed by the end of June because apparently that’s when you need to get everything done.
Or had they signed absolutely nobody before the end of June? Surely not?
Pesky fact: Their transformative signings that summer were made on July 16 (N’Golo Kante) and July 31 (Marcos Alonso and David Luiz).
It’s almost like titles are not won or lost on June 23.
Obviously that’s silly because all transfers need to be completed by June 25. It’s a new rule that only the Mirror website seem to know because…
‘Chelsea chief Todd Boehly makes last-ditch phone call to pip Arsenal to £65m transfer’
Can you make a ‘last-ditch phone call’ over two months before the transfer window closes?
Apparently you can if you are ‘Chelsea chief Todd Boehly’, who obviously saw that the clock was ticking down towards the 70-day mark and decided to take urgent action.
‘According to Fabrizio Romano , the American billionaire is so hands-on at Stamford Bridge that he personally put in a call to Leeds to discuss Raphinha. He reportedly got the same response as Arsenal, Spurs and Barca: Raphinha is for sale, but only for ‘at least’ £65m.’
So he made a ‘last-ditch phone call’ over two months before the transfer window closes and was told the same as every other club and thus has not ‘pipped’ Arsenal or indeed anybody else to a ‘£65m transfer’ that may or may not happen?
Or as Romano put it himself in The Guardian: ‘Chelsea’s co-owner Todd Boehly, the interim sporting director, has explored the situation.’
Sounds terribly laid-back for a ‘last-ditch phone call’.
Open door policy
The idea of a man making a phone call is clearly a fascinating one with the Express website reporting…
‘Chelsea’s Todd Boehly holds Raphinha phone call with Arsenal target ‘open’ to move’
So he’s ‘open’ to a Chelsea move, is he? That’s the clear indication here, though the word ‘open’ appears nowhere in the piece.
So to the source we go…which is football’s busiest man Fabrizio Romano writing a column for CaughtOffside.
“Arsenal have made a first offer turned down by Leeds, while Tottenham are preparing a proposal and Chelsea have explored the situation with a direct call from Todd Boehly.
“Raphinha had given his ok to Barcelona as a priority for months, but is now really open to listening to English clubs. The decision will take a few days.”
Oh. Not quite the same that, is it?
At the other end of the scale, elsewhere on the Mirror website, they are keen to bait some Manchester United clicks so…
‘What Chelsea can offer Michael Edwards that Man Utd can’t as ex-Liverpool guru eyed’
Now we’re told that ‘Unlike United, Chelsea have a deep and talented squad that only requires some slight tweaks having claimed numerous pieces of silverware under Thomas Tuchel over recent seasons’ and ‘it would be a relatively straightforward start to life within his new role in huge contrast to a switch to Old Trafford’.
Apart from having just one senior centre-back (37), no centre-forward and a proliferation of underperforming wingers, it would be an absolute breeze. He could probably do it part-time.