Terry; Naivety on our behalf or more to it than meets the eye?

Our pursuit of Chelsea captain and plastic hardman John Terry will quite rightly be met with a mixture of derision and confusion. He is after all 'Mr Chelsea', the embodiment of a club who have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in five of the last six seasons, won seven major trophies in his time there, and who, until recently, were easily the richest in British football, paying wages that no other club in the land could match.

If reports are to be believed, we made an extremely optimistic bid of £20m in January, and understandably it was rejected out of hand by toadlike club-hopping Chief Exec Peter Kenyon. Rumours of us still being interested in the player surfaced a week or so back, and a bid (said to be around £30m) was again sternly turned down by Chelsea. That, you'd think, would be the end of the matter, but it appears it may not be the case. City are said to surprisingly be preparing an improved offer, which on the face of things at least, seems a little potty.

With the Kaka non-deal still fresh in everybody's memories, and the press fabricating 'snubbings' almost daily, i'm not sure we'd run the risk of making fools of ourselves in such a fashion. If Chelsea really don't want to sell their captain and best player then given their assets it shouldn't matter if we add a few more bob onto our last offer and get back in touch. The club must surely be receiving some sort of encouragement somewhere, if not from the player (who could quite easily come out and make a fresh statement saying he has no interest in such a move), then his agent, or much less likely, people within the club itself.

Figures quoted by the press, particularly the tabloids, tend to be completely fabricated. The Daily Mail have us paying Gareth Barry £130k a week, for instance. Another paper assures us that our bid for Samuel Eto'o is worth £200k a week to the player after tax, both dubious. It shouldn't surprise us then that this morning we're told there's a £300k a week offer on the table for Terry, which would easily make him the best-paid footballer in the world. In all likelyhood it would actually take a ridiculous bunch of numbers to lure a player of his reputation, but i'm inclined to not believe that we'd pay a stopper such a salary whilst some of the world's best players; Robinho, and if they sign, Eto'o & Tevez, did the business at the other end whilst picking up pittances in the region of half that.

Whatever the truth about the money on offer, and i believe the player will be well aware of such information, there's no doubt at all that it would be the biggest possible statement of intent from our owners. Not only is Terry the captain of the national team, and one of a select group of elite English players (alongside the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, maybe a permanently-gurning Scouse forward from over the road), but most importantly, the pictureboy of a side that we have long-term ambitions of replacing at the top of the tree.

From Chelsea's perspective, well, i suppose it doesn't make absolutely no sense at all seeing as they currently have at least three other good players in his position. Ricardo Carvalho has proven himself to be a top-drawer Premier League defender, though he did pick up quite a serious knock last season and sounds like he may be on his way to Inter Milan. Alex, as much as he does look a bit unorthodox, seemed to play very well when he got a good run in the side recently. Ivanovic, whose two headers at at Anfield last season saw off Liverpool, doesn't appear to be a slouch himself. Infact, i'd gladly have any of these players at our place. Michael Mancienne, too, looks very promising. He's probably more likely to serve another season out on loan somewhere, but could be called upon if needed, i'm sure.

We, if there was any doubt, do need a centre-half. Nedum didn't let us down when called upon last year. Micah, well, less said the better, but let's not completely write him off yet, and i'm quietly excited about the thought of Vince Kompany playing at the back permanently. Terry would be the perfect addition from our point of view, i doubt many would be against the signing, even if the fee involved got a little silly.

I can't for the life of me, though, think why the player might come, not for footballing reasons anyway. Ideally we'd like players to be coming here for the right reasons, but i'm sure we'll all take it if the very best arrive whatever the circumstances, but even the most hard-nosed Blue would surely have to admit that money would be the overriding factor in such a decision. Chelsea are, of course, one of the world's elite clubs in terms of recent performances, both domestically and in Europe. As clubs go they mightn't, historically at least, be considered any bigger a club than us, but i'm not sure past glories are really what appeal to current professionals. Terry's at a club where he's more-or-less guaranteed Champions League football and a crack at the title every season, aswell as, lets not forget, already picking up around £135k each week, moving here really would make no sense in terms of his career, him being 28 and all. Why move to a side who could possibly challenge for honours from one that already does?

Whatever happens it's undoubtedly one of the more interesting transfers tales of late, and even if it doesn't come off it both shows our intentions and appears to have Chelsea a little rattled. I expect the player might well stay where he is, but i also get the impression there's a little more to it than us making a silly bid and that being the end of matters. Hughes does afterall have links at Chelsea, and several of our players will know Terry personally. As much as we like to pretend it doesn't happen, i'm sure there's already been a certain amount of 'tapping up' gone on. If we were a couple of years down the line, having possibly broke the top four, then sure, it might be possible, but i think now might be a bit too soon for such transfers and suspect that we may well be being used to up the players take-home. As a fan, though, i simply want us to have the best side possible, and if that's a side of tapped-up players bought on oil money then i'm ashamed to say, so be it.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Just hope this doesn't drag on for ages and we end up with egg on our faces