After Cesc Fabregas made comments this week welcoming the prospect of Lionel Messi joining the Chelsea squad, transfer rumors have boiled back up to a frenzy again, but the reality of that prospect is very different from what the Stamford Bridge faithful are wanting to hear. Despite the multiple reports that the deal is being pursued, the fact is that the type of deal which would be required in order to Bring Messi to Chelsea would be cost-prohibitive, not to mention just plain prohibited.
Manager Jose Mourinho came out with a statement addressing the question of a Messi transfer after it continued to come up since Fabregas’ comments. He made it clear that while Messi was, clearly, a player who could help the club tremendously, that the numbers involved would make it impossible under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations for him to even consider it. Though the club reported a £18.4 million profit last year, spending to meet the £205 million buyout requirement in Messi’s contract would put Chelsea far outside the lines drawn in the FFA.
Chelsea continue to be the center of less-than-realistic transfer rumors like the one surrounding Messi. Several rumors with theories and suggestions that they are close to a deal with Sergio Busquets from Barcelona. On the face of it, the deal looks like something which might happen. There are several clubs interested, including Manchester United, and Busquets has had publicly discussed disagreements with manager Luis Enrique, making his stalled contract negotiations appear to be an invitation for interested clubs. The reality is, however, that he will likely not be let go from Barcelona at all.
Barcelona is expected to be announcing a ban which would prevent them from signing any replacement for Busquets until January of 2016. Without a way to replace him, there is virtually no chance that Enrique would allow Busquets or any first team player out of his hands. As with a lot of transfer window rumors, there are multiple motivations for the things that media outlets are told. In this case, the impending ban as he is negotiating a new contract will improve Busquets negotiating position. Added to interest from foreign clubs, he is likely to find his best deal now by capitalizing on his position with Barcelona rather than going elsewhere. Whether that is a happy coincidence or by design is a moot point. It is simply a product of the pre-January rumor mill.
Fabregas’ public longing for a reunion with Messi aside, that door seems fairly well closed with Mourinho’s interview. While the Busquets rumor is not quite as completely quashed, it looks like that may be a pipe dream as well. Some less spectacular, though altogether more realistic, deals do appear to be in the works for Chelsea. A deal to get out from under the contract of Torres is one, and a possible deal for Andrej Kramaric with Rijeka is another. Not as big of a headline, but evidence that Mourinho has been working on projects which might actually come to fruition in the January window. Messi may not be coming to Stamford Bridge, but that does not mean that there are not moves to be made.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Claudio Pozo – Flickr License