Anzhi up the ante, as they prepare to throw a bucket load of cash at Chelsea.
The Daily Mirror claims that well off Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are set to make one of the most insane bids in the history of football, in an attempt to bring Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole and Raul Meireles to the club for a combined £67 million.
Whilst any move for the trio is certain to cause unrest in a squad which has already had to cope with a managerial overhaul, and the fact that most of their experienced players just aren’t that good any more, the figure would almost compensate for the disastrous £50 million spent on Torres last January.
Though the Spaniard has no doubt improved, setting up Kalou’s vital winner at Benifica and generally contributing well with his all round game, Chelsea’s number 9 still seems to have forgotten the art of shooting since his glory days at Anfield.
Meanwhile Raul Meireles has fooled a few with some decent moments, but those who watch him play can generally conclude he’s one of the most over rated players in the league. Left back Cole has been at the Bridge for nearly 6 years now, and while he’s had to contend with a huge amount of upheaval amongst a usually solid back four, it’s fair to say that at 31 his best days are behind him.
So with Anzhi Macarena seemingly on a different planet to the rest of us, and manager Guus Hiddink desperate to bring in more stars to supplement the likes of Samuel Eto’o, could the deal really happen? Abramovic’s men, though thriving in the cup competitions, are faced with the very real possibility of missing out on the Champions League next season.
If they do they’ll be left without a minimum of£30m in Champions League income, therefore having no chance of being able to fund their planned revamp of the squad whilst meeting UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Anzhi’s initial approaches for record signing Torres were scoffed at, with Abramovic unwilling to admit his mistake and cash in at £35 million. But it allegedly seems as though the Russians are upping their game, and are now willing to offer £10 million more plus extra for Cole and Meireles.
Chelsea themselves are braced to lose a host of players this summer, including Didier Drogba, who looks set to finally let go and leave for nothing at the end of the season. Meanwhile Napoli duo Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi are high on the list of replacements, and will cost at least £50m to land.
All in all the story suggests that much activity is set to happen at the Bridge, and whilst I concur with that sentiment, this particular rumour has more than a scent of grade A baloney. If it does indeed come to fruition then we might as well all pack up and go home, cause the Russian’s are coming to blow everybody out of the water.
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