Here we are again, with a roundup of Chelsea news and transfer gossip for you. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock and haven’t noticed, Antonio Conte is still an employee of Chelsea Football Club. Maurizio Sarri is still locked up in one of Aurelio Di Laurentiis’ dungeons at Napoli. Now, let’s dive deeper into the news.
There is no news. At least as far as the new Chelsea manager is concerned. Sarri has been left hanging while Conte still hangs on to his job only because of technicalities. That is a euphemism for money. A payoff, to be more exact. Conte is due a not-unreasonable amount of £9 million for the last year of his contract when Chelsea sack him. But when Conte is fired and instead of going on a sabbatical – which is all the rage right now – he takes up another job, he is owed nothing. Nada. Zip. Which is what Chelsea seem to be counting on.
So instead of searching for a new manager for Chelsea, they might well be spending their time finding employment for the manager they are about to sack. A new opportunity has just opened up in Madrid, so Chelsea are hoping Conte likes the taste of paella. And if you’re having trouble getting your head around that, let me lay it down in very simple terms – Chelsea are about to sack Conte but are hoping the European champions, Real Madrid, make him their coach so they don’t have to pay him a severance. So Conte might be good enough for Real Madrid, but apparently not good enough for Chelsea. Makes sense.
Although if this doesn’t go according to plan, Chelsea also have a plan B. B for Blanc. Laurent Blanc. The former PSG and France manager has been left twiddling his thumbs for a while and Chelsea have supposedly agreed personal terms with him. But bizarrely, Chelsea are still hoping Sarri can free himself from his Napoli contract through legal means. If that happens, it’s Sarri to Chelsea, Conte to somewhere and Blanc twiddling his thumbs for some more time.
In slightly less bizarre news, Courtois is shocked that he is being linked for a move away from Chelsea. Of course he is. The same way I was shocked when I kept my sandwich in front of my dog and he ate it. And speaking of transfers, there are strong rumours that Chelsea had a bid rejected for Jean Michael Seri, but they’re still negotiating with Nice for the nice midfielder that we need. Another position in need is a striker, but we might be needing two. Alvaro Morata has been spending his free time contemplating his existence and the choices he’s made. And he has regrets. He apparently regrets not moving to AC Milan when he had the chance, and now that opportunity is gone. I said it once and I’ll say it again – we would be monumentally stupid to let Morata leave after just one season. And we may as well wind up our operations if we loan him to one of those Italian clubs who operate on the guiding principle of Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons – “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”. Steer well clear, chaps.
And that’s your lot. We’ll have an update when Conte finally abdicates the throne and someone else arrives to drink from the poisoned chalice.