Chelsea; Transfer Window January 2008 - Week 4

While Didier Drogba is too far away to respond, the Sunday Express (January 20) feel it ok to talk about him behind his back.

They have him leaving Stamford Bridge for an unspecified price, an event which will apparently see Avram Grant given £40million to spend on Barcelona’s Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o. By happy coincidence, Eto’o can’t get to a copy of the SE just at the moment either.

The Mail on Sunday ignore the probably less than imminent arrival Eto’o to inform us that Drogba will pitch up at one of AC Milan, Real Madrid, or of course Barcelona. How do they know? The Ivorian has told his international team-mate Yaya Toure, that’s how. So it must be true.

Another striker who could be leaving Chelsea is Peruvian international Claudio Pizarro. The News Of The World suggest that the former Bayern Munich man will join Lazio after finding first team opportunities hard to come by at Stamford Bridge. If you want to play regular first team football it makes sense to put yourself in competition with Rolando Bianchi rather than Drogba, Nicolas Anelka or even Andriy Shevchenko, doesn’t it? Oh alright then, perhaps not so much Shevchenko.

Still with the NOTW, and the endlessly ‘on the verge of a move’ Steve Sidwell. Everton have expressed their interest in the former Reading man, who has so far found the prospect of Sunderland and Portsmouth less than enticing. In a not so cunning attempt to land their man the Toffeemen are reported to have offered Sidwell a place in their squad on the proviso that he takes a pay cut. All of which probably leaves Sidwell wondering where he left Roy Keane’s phone number.

The NOTW’s Chelsea-related ranting is ceaseless this Sunday. They also have the west London side joining Arsenal, Manchester United and Real Madrid in the race to sign 15-year-old Brazilian Neymar.

After the storm of Sunday the rest of the week is eerily quiet. If Chelsea’s interest in Dimitar Berbatov still stands, then their cause is not helped by Tottenham’s progress to the Carling Cup final on Tuesday (January 22). Many news outlets suggest that the Bulgarian’s immediate future at White Hart Lane was dependent on the outcome of the semi-final with Arsenal, and yet others suggest that Berbatov believes that Spurs’ 5-1 shellacking of Arsenal’s reserves proves that they can hijack the top four soon.

A day later Chelsea ensure their own place in the Carling Cup final courtesy of Joe Cole’s goal at Goodison Park. The former West Ham man’s strike takes Chelsea through 3-1 on aggregate at the expense of David Moyes’ side, but does not seem to have inspired any of the club’s potential transfer targets to force through a move. Funny thing, that.

Friday (January 25) marks the only real transfer activity of the week, when Chelsea sign Argentina under-20 international striker Franco di Santo from Chilean outfit Audax Italiano. The fee is undisclosed but what the BBC can tell us is that di Santo has been compared to Diego Maradona (he’s the same nationality, you see?), and that Roman has forked out in excess of £3million for the 6ft 4inch prospect. At which point Claudio Pizarro begins enquiring as to the location of his coat.

By Stephen Orford

27 January 2008
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 2 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 3 Round-up
All Premier League clubs Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 4 Round-up

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