Chelsea shakeup: Bosingwa in, Cech and Drogba out?
Chelsea have reached an agreement with Porto for the £16.2m transfer of right-back Jose Bosingwa. Though he is just 25 years old the full-back helped has been a part of the first XI since the 2004-05 season and was instrumental in their dominant championship run this season. Bosingwa was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but moved to Portugal as a child. He signed for Port in 2003 from fellow Portugese club Boavista.
He has become a capped international for Portugal and will feature for them in the upcoming Euro 2008 tournament. He was also a target for Manchester United but reports are they felt the fee for him was too high. Now that he has landed a Chelsea, he will now face stiff competition for a place in the starting XI from compatriot Paulo Ferreira and Brazilian Juliano Belletti, although one of them will reportedly leave the club in the summer. Bosingwa replaced Ferreira in Porto’s starting XI when he moved to Chelsea in 2004. There are question marks over both Ferreira and Belletti though as midfielder Michael Essien has often been preferred as a right-back over either of the two. It’s possible with the new signing that both could be given their walking papers.
Converted from a midfielder to a right-back, Bosingwa has great pace going forward but according to Alberto da Silva, a journalist for World Soccer magazine, Bosingwa has been overvalued by Chelsea. “He’s a good player but he’s not worth that much money,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Chelsea’s current right-back Paulo Ferreira is a better player. I don’t know who negotiated the deal, but he did well for Porto.” He added: “I don’t believe Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would have been willing to spend that much money on Bosingwa.”
Meanwhile, the agent of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has claimed that an unnamed European club are set to bid around 25 million pounds for his services. The identity of the club remains unclear, but both Barcelona and Milan are known to be looking for new number ones after putting Victor Valdes and Dida on the transfer list respectively. In Valdes’ situation, I think he’s been let down by his defense and is still a world-class keeper. However, the mood around Barcelona is grim and a purge of players is set to take place.
In a bigger rumour, Didier Drogba has agreed a summer move to AC Milan, according to The Mirror, which claims the Chelsea striker will sign a three-year deal with Rossoneri in order to link up again with former Blues manager Jose Mourinho, whom the paper says will be replacing Carlo Ancelotti for next season. Of course, current AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti insists he has no interest in signing Chelsea striker Didier Drogba this summer. If Milan finish outside the Champions League places, look for Ancelotti to get the sack. AC Milan are currently fifth after a loss on the weekend to Napoli. They were outplayed by a very motivated side who proved to be stronger on the day and lost 3-1. They now sit two points back of Fiorentina for the last qualifying spot for next season’s Champions League.
If Drogba departs it would leave a huge hole in Chelsea’s attack considering that Andriy Shevchenko has only given brief glimpses of the goal-scoring form he had for AC Milan. Neither do Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou or Claudio Pizarro look up to leading the line. Kalou has been effective running out on the flank as an ersatz winger but I am not convinced about his abilities as a out-and-out striker. None of them has shown the ability of Drogba, who when suitably motivated can rip apart a backline with his power and pace.
It looks to be another intriguing summer of transfers at Stamford Bridge. Stay tuned for all the developments.