Although Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is taking his usual tight-lipped approach to the transfer window, rumors that he is courting Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos for the club are surfacing from multiple sources. Ramos is currently engaged in contract negotiations with Madrid, and there are conflicting reports about whether those are proceeding well or not. Recent reports indicate that Mourinho reached out to Ramos to let him know that there was a spot at Stamford Bridge for him should negotiations not go as well as desired.
Ramos was reportedly made an offer by Madrid which did not make him happy. It supposedly involved a reduction of his current wages, and though he stated in a Twitter post that he has never been motivated by money, a pay cut is never received positively by any player. Arrigo Sacchi , sporting director for Real Madrid, is quoted as having told Ramos that he risked cutting his career short should he choose to leave in pursuit of higher pay, citing former players who had done the same, and urged him to remain with the club. With one report from Arrigo Sacchi saying that there was a conflict arising from Real president Florentino Perez refusing to meet salary demands from Ramos, and an ESPNFC report contradicting the Sacchi piece, there remains a lot of speculation about the reality of the situation. Meanwhile, Mourinho and Chelsea continue to wait in the wings for a chance to jump on any opportunity.
There is a lot of talk among Chelsea fans about the state of the club’s defense, despite the fact that they are sitting atop the Premier League standings. The uncharacteristic lack of clean sheets on the season has them looking back at last year and wondering what happened to Mourinho’s trademark defensive formations. Some heave criticism has fallen on defender Gary Cahill as being a poor complement to John Terry on the Chelsea back line. Some are saying that he is exposed in the current formation, no longer able to rely on defending midfielders in front of him to make the right positioning choices. Whether that criticism is justified or not, it has many of the Stamford Bridge faithful eager to see Mourinho courting a strong defender like Ramos in the transfer window. It has certainly put Cahill on the spot to up his performance in the final matches leading up to the January break, whether fair or not.
Mourinho has given Chelsea fans little more to talk about, outside of his own antics with the press on which they rely regularly for entertainment. That is par for the course for him. Whether this courtship of Ramos is a serious press to shore up a diminished defense, or a smoke screen to keep eyes of other transfer window plotting will not come to light until January comes and moves begin to be revealed. With most of the other Premier League teams scrambling to improve their squads and Chelsea sitting atop the table as the target, Mourinho will certainly not be resting on his laurels waiting for others to decide his club’s fate.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald – Flickr License