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This week’s transfer rumors and signing realities

I’ve followed the daily transfer rumors more closely this summer than I have in past years and it has been quite amusing.  The latest example being Sir Alex Ferguson’s denial that Manchester United are deal-making to acquire Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan.  It was a pretty firm denial in the face of supposedly serious reports all week that a deal is imminent.  The moral of the story is you don’t really know what’s going on with a player during transfer season until they show up in a new uniform.

I’ve kept tabs on the transfer rumors just to keep up with which Chelsea players are coming and going.  Of course, all the attention has been on Chelsea’s attempt to get Modric from Tottenham.  That deal is apparently deader than it’s been all summer after Tottenham nixed two Chelsea offers and denied Modric’s transfer request.  This mini-circus will likely continue until the season starts and I wouldn’t be surprised if Modric ends up in a Chelsea uniform during the January transfer window.

I think Chelsea should abandon the Modric pursuit in favor of another of this week’s rumors:  trying to get Scott Parker on loan from West Ham.  The times I’ve seen Parker play the past couple seasons, he has displayed the kind of relentless hustle and passion that was missing from much of the Chelsea squad last year.  Because of his age, he may not be a long-term addition, but if one of the primary personnel needs at the moment is a replacement for Essien at midfield, Parker could be just the shot in the arm the team needs.  Currently Aston Villa seems to be the frontrunner to acquire Parker’s services.

The other prominent transfer rumor of the week was Chelsea’s pursuit of Bolton defender Gary Cahill.  Interesting, though Chelsea’s defense seems to be in pretty good shape right now.  If this deal happened, I can’t see Cahill starting over any of the current group very often.

Other quieter rumors this week include Nicolas Anelka possibly returning to Paris St. Germain and Alex maybe heading to Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.  I like both players a lot, but of the two, transferring Anelka might be the shrewder move because of his age (32) and the fact that things are a little crowded at the Chelsea forward position.  It’s time for Daniel Sturridge to see more minutes at forward and transferring Anelka would help facilitate that.

I would hate to see Alex go.  When all the Chelsea defenders are healthy, they have a deep, quality bench, which is vital to the long EPL season.  If Alex left, adding someone like a Gary Cahill would be essential to maintaining that bench depth.  Anelka played in the second half of Chelsea’s first preseason game against Wycombe Wanderers Tuesday, but Alex did not.

 

Finally, two young Blues received welcome contract extensions today.  Twenty-two-year-old left-back Ryan Bertrand signed a four-year deal.  Eighteen-year-old midfielder Josh McEachran signed a five-year-deal.  Both signings seem very promising, though I only saw Bertrand for a few minutes in one game last season, so I don’t know much about him yet.  The McEachran signing is great for Chelsea.  Ancelotti worked him into several games last season and despite his beanpole build, McEachran was extremely impressive with his poise, patience, placement, and passing prowess (I got on a roll with the p’s and had to keep it going).  If McEachran can avoid burnout and develop some upper body bulk, he could very well be Chelsea’s Lampard of the future.

Which of these Chelsea transfer rumors is most exciting?  Most disappointing?

 

 

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Ugo, FC Dallas!

Club looks to the future with recent contract extensions

This blog’s primary focus is my favorite team, Chelsea FC.  However, I also support my local club – FC Dallas of MLS – and will endeavor to write about them periodically.  Things have been looking up at FC Dallas the past couple of seasons and two key recent contract extensions are evidence that the club is moving in the right direction.

This week FC Dallas extended defender Ugo Ihemelu’s contract through 2015, a wise decision that followed a similar extension for midfielder Brek Shea a few weeks ago.  Head coach Schellas Hyndman is apparently dedicated to firming up the roster he has carefully constructed the past three seasons.  MLS has complicated rules and regulations when it comes to signing/keeping players, so it is great news for FCD fans that the club has arranged to retain two of its best players for several more seasons.  Hopefully we’ll see some other extensions before season’s end – Zach Loyd, George John, or Fabian Castillo perhaps?

I was skeptical and unenthused about Hyndman becoming head coach back in 2008.  I stand corrected however, as his patient building and shrewd scouting is starting to pay off.  The team made their first trip to the MLS Cup final last season and currently sits in second place behind the Galaxy in the Western Conference.

Now if we could only expand the local fan base to pay some more top players.  It pains me every time I’m at Pizza Hut Park or watching on TV to see so many empty seats.  We have a great stadium and one of the very best teams in MLS.  What gives, Dallas?

Pizza Hut Park

Which other current FC Dallas players would you like to see remain at the club long-term?