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Modric & Nasri… Still on Chelsea’s Radar?

Both players seem to be staying put, but rumors persist

Lately the transfer rumor mill has been buzzing about Chelsea’s interest in (and apparent bid for) Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.  There have also been murmurings about potential Chelsea interest in Arsenal’s Samir Nasri.  As of today, both players have reported to their teams’ respective preseason training and any transfer deals appear to be off.  Tottenham in particular has insisted Modric is staying.  Arsenal’s stance on Samir appears less adamant, but he’s supposedly sticking around for the last year of his contract.

 

Still, both situations seem less than cemented.  I saw a brief interview with Luka Modric on Fox Soccer Report last night and he gave the impression things are still up in the air.  He also seemed slightly disappointed about returning to the Tottenham camp.  Some reports say Nasri really wants to leave Arsenal, but the club is understandably reluctant to let him go.  Or, maybe they’re just holding out until someone ponies up super megabucks for Nasri.  Might that someone be Chelsea?  Is Nasri Chelsea’s plan B since a Modric deal now seems unlikely?

I admire the way Modric and Nasri play.  Either would be excellent additions to the Chelsea side, though I’m not sure there’s adequate room in the squad at the moment.  Which Blues midfielder would get squeezed out if Modric or Nasri arrived?  There’s a lot of eagerness to point out Lamps’ age (implying his star is fading), but he’s got a lot of good soccer left in him.  I certainly wouldn’t want to see Lampard, Essien, or Malouda get more bench time.

If Chelsea could get either Modric or Nasri, I’m not sure which one I’d prefer.  Here is an interesting statistical comparison between the two from last season.  Judging strictly by the numbers, I might actually choose Nasri.  I have a feeling there are further developments in store between Chelsea and one of these guys.  July is still young, so stay tuned!

Would Modric or Nasri be a better Chelsea choice?  Feel free to weigh in below…

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Chelsea Gets Back to Work

Blues report to Cobham for first day of preseason training

It was great to see photos and video of the gang back in training action today.  Hard to believe it’s already time to dust off the ol’ boots!  Actually, the European offseason is so short, dust doesn’t have time to gather.  That’s not a criticism, au contraire, as a fan I love the short offseason.  This line from chelseafc.com today cracked me up:  “After what seemed like an eternity waiting, the players were back in at Cobham today and quickly down to work.”  If EPL fans think a couple months is an eternity, they’d never survive the interminably long off seasons in the States!  For fans used to American sports, two months hardly seems like an offseason at all.

One of the things I really appreciate about European soccer is the long seasons.  I’m sure it is grueling for the players, and perhaps the grind even curtails some of their careers, but clubs certainly give fans their money’s worth as far as total number of matches is concerned.  By the time you tally EPL regular season, FA Cup, League Cup, and in Chelsea’s case (thank goodness!) Champions League action, that is a whole lotta football.  The more the merrier I say.  With the Chelsea guys already back at Cobham knocking around the leather, opening day will be here before we know it!

Do you think European seasons are too long or just right?