Welcome to soccer.london transfer briefing. To help you stay on top of all the Chelsea goings on in the market, we’ve got the latest buzz from social media, journalists and so-called ITKs summarizing what’s what in the world of the Blues.
The move for Tudor Mendel-Idowu was covered earlier this week after reports suggested he had already joined Barcelona’s academy in Spain after his contract at Chelsea expired.
With teams from across Europe exploring a deal for the 18-year-old, there is already controversy surrounding him. Chelsea failed to tie him down to a new long-term contract, which ended on June 30, and it was written that he would join Barcelona, plain and simple. However, Fabrizio Romano has an update on the situation.
“Anderlecht are now trying to hijack the Barcelona move to sign former Chelsea talent Tudor Mendel,” he writes. “Barça verbally agreed personal terms with Mendel to sign him as a free agent for the U21 team, but Anderlecht tried at the last minute.”
Chelsea, who can’t do much about it now, will be watching with interest to see where their Cobham talent goes.
soccer.london say: This could be one of those moves that the Blues look back on with regret for years to come. Declan Rice, anyone? It’s given another exit than that, but it still stings to see young players leave and then continue to do so elsewhere.
Unlike Rice, who Chelsea themselves released, Mendel-Idowu was widely seen as someone the club wanted to keep. But in the last 12 months they have also signed four left-footed right-backs, which only goes to add serious competition to his long-term prospects.
Chelsea paid money to sign Noni Madueke and Angelo Gabriel, while Omari Hutchinson and Diego Moreira moved for free. Mendel-Idowu, who has come through the academy system, is well back in the pecking order and his decision to pursue other options has already been justified with Hutchinson also leaving just a year later as he is sent out on loan for first-team minutes.
Mendel-Idowu is the youngest of the lot and many will preach patience, but it is hardly a clear path to the senior side and with such attractive options elsewhere, who can blame him? Now the question is where he really sees his future lying in the short term.
Can he go on to become the next Lionel Messi at Barcelona, a tricky winger on the right with a brilliant left stick, or will he travel to Belgium for direct first-team action? Either way, we expect him to flourish.
Kylian Mbappe drama
Paris Saint-Germain have decided they will sell Kylian Mbappe this summer after the forward made it clear he would not stay at the club beyond the expiry of his contract in 2024.
Mbappe told PSG earlier this year that he would not be renewing his deal, leaving the French champions in a difficult position. They are determined not to lose him for free in 12 months, but Mbappe is also far from pushing for a move.
But ahead of Luis Enrique’s first pre-season, PSG have omitted their 24-year-old star from the tournament squad heading to Japan. He is now for sale and a price of around 160 million pounds ($205 million).
In addition to the expected links to Real Madrid, it is also said that several Premier League teams will look to sign him despite such massive fees. The GFFN report that the Blues are exploring the possibility of bringing him to Stamford Bridge, but are also aware of the impact of the huge financial outlay on wages as well as an upfront cost.
soccer.london say: Oh, the drama rolls on and we love it, we really do. Everyone does. Mbappe is the news, Mbappe is PSG, Mbappe is France. What he says goes, it’s his universe and we all live in it. Who can argue with that?
This is a 24-year-old superstar who is actually the third most powerful man in France. He has twice won the World Cup golden boots, world champion, finalist in both tournaments. He gets the attention of literally every football fan, owner, club and associated being on the planet.
Teams would go out of business just to get a picture of him wearing their jersey. Chelsea are unsurprisingly one of those willing to entertain smashing any kind of wage structure to think about what it would mean to buy him. Forget the likelihood that even the great, immortal, world-beating Mbappe would flop at Stamford Bridge, 13 goals over two years and an interview with L’Equipe expressing his desire to leave Pochettino once again, this is Mbappe we’re talking about.
When it comes to deals like this, it’s almost impossible to think straight. Logic goes out the window because these chances don’t come around very often. Nevertheless, the smart move here would be to spend 48 hours considering what could be and then move on because Chelsea don’t want to sign Mbappe and shouldn’t really be thinking about it.
Everything that has built up for a young, hungry squad over the past eight months, the summer’s weeding out of stars from a bloated squad, cutting the wage bill and working towards something healthy will all be torn apart if Mbappe is even considered.
Allow it to consume you for a second and then move on, he may be someone else’s problem. No doubt at some point Mbappe will be a problem, and a very expensive one at that.