2015: Chelsea won the league and then were rubbish. 2016: Leicester won the league and then were rubbish. 2017: Chelsea won the league, and have shown signs they might be rubbish. So how do you interrupt this ominous pattern? Very simple: you combine Chelsea with Leicester to create a new brand of Superchampions!
This is the latest masterplan of Blues owner Roman Abramovich, who is reportedly keen to add to last summer’s very successful acquisition of N’Golo Kante by going back to the East Midlands for some more title-winning Foxes (he won’t go to the East Midlands himself obviously; they don’t even have a Prada up there).
The Mirror claims that, in addition to signing Kante’s former midfield partner Danny Drinkwater, which we already knew about, Abramovich also wants Leicester legend Jamie Vardy to join him at Stamford Bridge.
With Diego Costa in exile and Alvaro Morata still finding his feet in the Premier League, the Blues attack is distinctly lacking attitude (Michy Batshuayi’s hair doesn’t count) and the terrier-like Englishman could be the man to provide it.
The Mirror explains that Vardy’s “age and cost fits into Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia’s plan to run the club on a more sustainable basis”. Which is weird, because the striker is 30. But apparently she prefers her signings to be “younger or older” as opposed to “in their prime” because the club gets “better value”. (Someone should tell her about Bastian Schweinsteiger).
And that’s not the only revolutionary idea Granovskaia has had this week. According to the Express (via German newspaper Bild), she’s had another one that involves sacking Antonio Conte and replacing him with Thomas Tuchel.
The Borussia Dortmund coach has apparently been “chosen” as Conte’s successor by Granovskaia, whose relationship with the Italian is said to be “more than tense”. It’s not clear what Abramovich thinks about any of this, or indeed if he is still in charge.
Anyone who believed that Barcelona’s move for Philippe Coutinho was dead has been proved naive by today’s claim in the Sun that the deal is back on.
The Catalan giants are reportedly set to return to Liverpool with a “FINAL” bid of £136m, which follows a previous offer of £118m that was also a “FINAL” bid. All this really means is that the saga cannot possibly be resolved until the transfer window is actually closed.
The same goes for the future of Kylian Mbappe, whose surprising switcheroo from Real Madrid to Paris Saint-Germain seems to be partially explained by Marca’s claim that the French side have offered him “double the wages” he would receive at the Bernabeu.
And some transfer sagas will go on way beyond this month, such as Manchester United’s pursuit of Antoine Griezmann, which you may remember from the distant past of May. The Mirror says the Red Devils will return for the Frenchman next summer and that he is “determined” to move to Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to reject Arsenal’s latest contract offer and sign for either Chelsea or Liverpool (Telegraph), Crystal Palace are set to launch a £15m bid for RB Leipzig’s young Scottish midfielder Oliver Burke (Guardian) and Sebastian Bassong is training with Birmingham City as Blues boss Harry Redknapp continues his strategy of only signing players he has definitely heard of (Mail).