The word of the day is ‘impasse’, meaning a situation in which no progress is possible due to disagreement. And that is also the theme for today’s Chelsea news and transfer gossip. Don’t let anyone tell you we’re all fluff and no knowledge.
We start off with the quest for Sarri which seems to have hit a rather large obstacle – Aurelio De Laurentiis. With the buyout clause in Sarri’s contract set to expire on the 31st of May, Chelsea have refused to pony up the €8 million so far. They’re probably looking to haggle with De Laurentiis so that he’ll let Sarri leave for a lower price, out of the goodness of his heart. Because that has worked so well in the past, hasn’t it?
It all points to Sarri being left to “rot in the reserves” by the Napoli chairman for the length of his contract. If De Laurentiis does not relent and accept whatever low-ball offer Chelsea fax him, the Blues are trying to give the impression that they are not completely clueless. Out of the blue, rumours are floating that Chelsea have also spoken to the French Larry White, or Laurent Blanc as he is commonly known. Although Blanc is no mug, this reeks of desperation from the club and some sort of ill-conceived hardball tactic. It appears to be an attempt to show De Laurentiis that Chelsea have a couple of eggs in other baskets as well, and that they have not placed all their eggs in the basket labelled “To Aurelio, with love”. One can only hope there is an actual plan in place beyond the posturing.
Well, that takes care of the manager hunt, which is clearly not going the way Chelsea expected, or even hoped. On the transfers front, it’s all gone quiet. Probably because no one want to come to a club who’ve managed to ruin their relationship with their current manager without sacking him, and who have been unable to find a replacement either. But every now and then, an outlandish rumour does pop up. This time, it’s Mauro Icardi and an imminent bid of €110 million from Chelsea. Yes, laugh it up, laugh it up. There’s nothing to gain from crying, so might as well laugh at this cruel joke. And how are Chelsea planning to pay this sum of money? Well, by saving pennies here and there and hoping Roman Abramovich finds a few million stashed away under the seat of his sofa in Israel. #WelcomeIcardi.
And that’s about it. We’re still at the same place we were when the season ended – Conte is still the Chelsea manager and there is no sign of a resolution. While our rivals have begun their spending spree, we’re still haggling with De Laurentiis as part of our annual “bang head against the wall” ritual. Fingers crossed, things will be a lot clearer in the coming days.