Much of Thursday’s transfer rumors focus on near misses and save options for the Stamford Bridge club, but there is also huge news from yesteryear that could have changed the course of English football, not to mention the history of Chelsea.
Here are the latest rumors and news surrounding Frank Lampard’s side.
Messi’s plan unfolds due to Deco
A remarkable statement from Gianluca Di Marzio on Sky Sports suggests that a FaceTime call took place between Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho, during the manager’s second stint at Stamford Bridge in 2014.
Chelsea were ready to pay the Argentine’s € 700million release clause and the pair spoke on the phone to determine the suitability of the move. Messi was impressed by Mourinho, explains the Italian journalist.
But Deco informed Messi’s father and agent Jorge of the call, which was fully facilitated by someone else, and the whole deal fell apart.
What could have been …
The arrival of rice would lead to the exit of Kante
It wasn’t a big secret that Chelsea were hoping to sign Declan Rice this summer, but the West Ham midfielder remains in east London.
The suggestion in the Star is that the Blues will increase their interest once again in early 2021, with Chelsea set to ‘review the situation’ in a move that ‘will signify danger’ for N’Golo Kante.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter are all mentioned as options for the France international, and Chelsea could reconsider their no-sell stance on him if they finally manage to land Rice, the report said.
Donnarumma considered before Mendy joined
Chelsea have been linked with a host of goalkeepers before finally settling on newcomer Mendy, who is currently sidelined with a minor injury.
Their biggest consideration was Gianluigi Donnarumma, Fabrizio Romano told Calciomercato.
He has one year left on his contract and Chelsea were hoping for a discounted deal, but the report suggests Milan are still confident they will renew and are therefore unwilling to sanction a cheap sale of Donnarumma.
Chelsea have moved on to Mendy, who hopes to become the weekly starter soon.
Another Inter connection has failed
Chelsea and Inter have often been linked in transfer deals over the past two years, although few of the proposed transfers have actually been made, apart from a loaner Victor Moses perhaps.
Another candidacy that apparently failed to take off, with Emerson Palmieri, Kante and Marcos Alonso failing to move from Stamford Bridge to San Siro, was Lautaro Martinez in the opposite direction.
Tuttomercatoweb (via SM) says Chelsea have tried to sign the Argentina striker but he opted against the change as he only wants to join one of the two big Spaniards.
Another opportunity in Serie A
Why worry about losing an Argentine striker playing in Serie A when you can just switch to another?
ESPN cites Tuttomercatoweb also suggesting that Chelsea’s “real idea” is to land Paulo Dybala from Juventus.
Just two years away from his contract, the Blues consider it the right time to sign the talented striker to a reduced price deal, even after signing Werner and Havertz.
* Sign up for the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.