TalkChelsea have been fortunate sufficient to have an unique interview with Fabrizio Romano this week, the place he went by means of all all of Chelsea’s ongoing switch conditions, and right here now we have the total transcript…
Will Faulks: Do you assume Chelsea actually needed Haaland forward of Lukaku final summer time and simply determined it wasn’t a deal they needed to do financially? Or did Lukaku’s connection to Chelsea play a component in making him first alternative?
Fabrizio Romano: No, I can’t say that they’d like a hierarchy or a listing. They know that Haaland and Lukaku are completely different sorts of strikers, however they’re two of the very best on the planet. If not the very best centre strikers on the planet. For this reason Chelsea have been wanting in his place – they have been attempting for Haaland. They have been holding tabs with Mino Raiola for a very long time after which speaking with individuals at Borussia Dortmund.
Then the expectation at Chelsea was that perhaps the scenario on worth would change in July or August, with Dortmund altering their place figuring out that in summer time 2022 Haaland could have a launch clause of €80m. So perhaps they’d be ready to simply accept one thing round €120-125m. However this was not the case. Dortmund have been by no means ready to simply accept this type of proposal. They weren’t prepared to simply accept something for lower than €175-180M, and because of this they have been by no means in superior negotiations for Haaland.
Once they realised the scenario was inconceivable to vary, they determined to leap definitively on the Romelu Lukaku deal. However they have been getting ready this Lukaku deal for weeks, in a prime secret method, with the participant’s facet and in addition with Inter, who had been anticipating Lukaku to remain. Chelsea did very effectively to go prime secret with Lukaku whereas they have been engaged on a Haaland deal, which wasn’t simple to do in the course of the window. For this reason in 48 hours they’d an settlement with Lukaku, after which the negotiations with Inter took per week.
I believe it was an ideal technique, and never a simple one.
And who ought to get credit score for that? Petr Cech or Marina Granovskaia, or is it a group effort? They make errors generally, however after they wish to get a deal executed they get it executed in a short time decisively.
I might say the entire group deserves credit score however specifically Marina. She does nice work in this sort of technique. It’s simple for prime golf equipment to throw cash at offers on this scenario. However on this case we’re speaking about an ideal technique for a sophisticated scenario the place we’re speaking about centre forwards. It’s very tough to signal strikers and key gamers from their golf equipment. Lukaku was a key participant for his membership, and Inter’s stance was at all times that he was too necessary for them to have the ability to promote. Then when Romelu was again from the Euros and from holidays, he instantly met with the brand new supervisor. So the ambiance was completely completely different to 2 weeks later, when he left to hitch Chelsea. This was due to Chelsea’s technique, so I believe Marina did an unbelievable job behind the scenes, that’s the most tough a part of enterprise on this space.
I suppose if the choice between Haaland and Lukaku comes all the way down to the value somebody finally ends up paying, it is going to take some time to see if Chelsea have been proper to say “neglect it, at that worth Haaland isn’t price it.” It’s going to take Lukaku a bit longer to show that that was the appropriate name to make. I assume we’ll see the place Haaland finally ends up and the way a lot individuals find yourself paying Mino Raiola. Up entrance for the time being Chelsea have Timo Werner as their backup choice. He’s not most likely enjoying as a lot as we’d anticipate, and if he’d been an enormous success final 12 months they most likely wouldn’t have signed Lukaku in any respect. Do you see Werner being joyful as a backup on both wing and to Lukaku up entrance, or do you assume there’s risk he may go away subsequent summer time if he doesn’t play extra?
To be sincere I’ve your identical feeling. I believe Timo Werner isn’t a plan B. He’s a prime striker, who didn’t have a improbable first season within the Premier League with Chelsea. We all know how tough it’s generally to maneuver to the Premier League from different international locations. Generally you’ve gamers like Mo Salah transferring to Serie A to the Premier League and turning into the most effective gamers within the league; however generally they want time or it’s not the league for them. I believe that is the case for Timo Werner now. He was signed to be the highest star for a few years, then he didn’t carry out on the prime stage they usually signed Lukaku. On the psychological facet it’s not simple for him to be thought of a plan B. For this reason I believe there are probabilities for Chelsea for Timo Werner to depart Chelsea subsequent summer time. I’m undecided but, as a result of we’re in November so we’ll see what occurs. Additionally as a result of Werner, I’m advised, is tremendous skilled, so he’s not going to create any issues. He trains on the prime stage. I say there are probabilities due to the “striker dominoes.” You point out Haaland – let’s see what occurs with Lewandowski. If Bayern wish to proceed with him and prolong his contract, and if he needs to remain there or to attempt one thing new. We all know that Man Metropolis will want a central striker. Let’s see what occurs with Harry Kane. However I additionally assume Barcelona will go for a central striker to resolve the scenario with Sergio Aguero. Mbappe’s cope with Actual Madrid – PSG must signal a brand new striker if Mbappe leaves. Juventus will go for a brand new striker, Inter wish to signal a brand new striker. So it’s a really massive domino impact. For this reason I believe into this domino, notably for German golf equipment, Timo Werner might be an fascinating alternative. But it surely at all times relies on the value, and for the time being the participant isn’t considering “OK subsequent summer time I’m going to depart.” He’s working laborious for Chelsea. Final season reveals how generally the lifetime of a participant can change in two months, one month. Have a look at Toni Rudiger, one 12 months in the past he available on the market to depart on mortgage, and now he’s the most effective gamers within the league.
That’s someplace Chelsea are very unsure for the time being – in defence. With 4 massive defenders out of contract. From my viewpoint writing about it, it’s appeared for a very long time that Rudiger would be the one who goes and Christensen will keep, however this Christensen deal by no means will get signed, and Rudiger by no means admits he’ll go. He’s at all times well mannered about it however by no means says he’s going to remain, and so far as I can see he’s simply ready for a kind of massive groups to make a proposal. Who has the cash to influence Rudiger to depart, in addition to the potential to win trophies like he can at Chelsea? It appears to me solely Bayern and perhaps Actual Madrid can supply each of these issues.
Based on what I hear from my sources, Rudiger’s scenario could be very clear. He needs an necessary contact. Generally it’s laborious for followers to grasp the cash half. However you must keep in mind one 12 months in the past, when the switch window closed, he was supplied to Tottenham, to AC Milan, to Roma, to go on mortgage with a purchase choice. This form of deal. He was thought of one of many final gamers within the Chelsea group. Then Thomas Tuchel joined and his life modified. However one 12 months in the past for Chelsea he was out, so I believe it’s additionally truthful to grasp that after this improbable 12 months that he had for Chelsea, he needs an necessary contract and an necessary wage. He’s price this wage, and it’s additionally one of many ultimate contracts for Rudiger as a result of he’s not so younger. So we are able to perceive his place. What’s occurring proper now? The participant loves London, loves the membership, loves the followers, loves the ambiance, has a improbable relationship with the supervisor. So if tomorrow Chelsea supply what Rudiger needs, I’m 100% positive he’ll signal a brand new deal, as a result of he doesn’t wish to go away Chelsea. He needs to remain, however we are able to perceive he needs to remain on his personal phrases. It’s a part of life, not only for footballers. So that is the method, it’s as much as Chelsea, let’s see what occurs within the subsequent conferences with Chelsea. Possibly these performances he’s placing in recreation after recreation will persuade Chelsea to say “OK we gives you what you need,” however for the time being it’s removed from being agreed.
What’s occurring with different golf equipment? I’m advised that Actual Madrid are going to search for free brokers and Toni Rudiger is on their checklist. It’s not a negotiation but with Rudiger’s brokers, however they’ve his title on the checklist as a result of they did an identical factor with David Alaba a 12 months in the past, they usually know the way necessary it’s to signal key gamers as free brokers in this type of market. Bayern are on the lookout for a brand new centre again if Niklas Sule leaves, and Rudiger is likely one of the names on their checklist. He’s German so it’s an ideal hyperlink too. However hold an eye fixed additionally on PSG. As a result of PSG subsequent summer time will search for a brand new centre again, and Rudiger is massive alternative, in order that might be one of many potential choices for PSG, however for the time being it’s simply golf equipment holding tabs on the scenario. They’re knowledgeable on Rudiger’s scenario with Chelsea, they’re not in superior negotiations.
And Christensen you continue to assume will finally signal? Do you’ve any concept what’s holding it up? We hear mysterious issues about brokers and clauses, do you assume it’s a matter of time?
Sure it was agreed on the finish of August, starting of September, on a verbal foundation, they have been simply ready for paperwork to reach and be signed. Then one thing modified – brokers round Christensen began to suggest to him the chance to go to Barcelona subsequent summer time as a free agent, and different groups have been proposed to him as different potential choices. For this reason he’s taking a while earlier than saying sure to Chelsea.
The expectation from either side remains to be the identical – with Christensen signing a brand new cope with Chelsea. So I nonetheless assume ultimately will probably be executed. However I might wait till I see this contract signed, as a result of on the finish of August it was actually executed. Barcelona and Actual Madrid will actually search for free brokers, as a result of these are two golf equipment which aren’t in simple conditions economically. So that they’re on the lookout for these sorts of alternatives – within the case of Christensen, Barcelona particularly. From Chelsea’s facet, as Thomas Tuchel says, the ambiance is optimistic for either side, so hopefully the deal will likely be accomplished.
It’s good, in each these conditions the gamers are joyful and enjoying effectively, it’s not turning right into a nasty scenario the place they’re inflicting points caught on the bench. What about Chelsea’s replacements for them? We hear most about Jules Kounde, is he nonetheless the favorite? Will Chelsea b in a position to get him for under his launch clause, or is somebody going to pay that? I ponder if they are going to remorse not shopping for him final summer time, when there will likely be extra groups this time round.
I believe Kounde will keep on the checklist of Chelsea, that is how they work. Once they have a goal it’s long run. After all the participant isn’t going to different golf equipment when it’s long run, and so Kounde I believe will likely be a goal for Chelsea within the coming months I’m positive. I don’t know concerning the launch clause, as a result of final summer time Chelsea weren’t prepared to pay the discharge clause, perhaps subsequent summer time they are going to change their thoughts. Let’s see what occurs, however I’m positive he will likely be one of many names on the checklist for Chelsea once more – particularly as a result of the participant was able to Chelsea. He needed to hitch, he was completely enthusiastic about this concept. Let’s see if different golf equipment leap within the race, as a result of final summer time was solely Chelsea. After Man U determined to go for Raphael Varane, and so let’s see subsequent summer time if it’s Chelsea alone once more, or different golf equipment will be a part of the race.
I’ve heard a whole lot of rumours about Matijs de Ligt, however from what I’m advised the participant could be very centered at Juventus, and Juventus have obtained nothing from Chelsea. It’s a tough one, it’s very tough. Generally I believe that’s underrated as a result of he’s a improbable participant, however Juventus paid €80m to Ajax, and sure a serious wage too. He has a launch clause subsequent summer time valued at round €122m, however I don’t see Chelsea paying that. You’re not paying €50m or €40m for him. He was valued at €80m and has performed at a really excessive stage in Serie A. However noticed two years in the past, one 12 months in the past from Chelsea – in the event that they wish to go massive out there they know easy methods to do it.
What about Fenerbahce defender Atila Szalai? I discover you and the opposite massive switch guys didn’t say a lot about that, and we haven’t heard a lot since. It appeared like a kind of names that simply pops up and disappears once more, you don’t assume there’s something to that do you?
No I believe they have been simply working with it in Turkey saying that it was one step away from being executed. I’m advised from individuals near the participant that he’s one of many gamers Chelsea are scouting, however however Chelsea are scouting 100 gamers, perhaps greater than 100 gamers on the planet each single 12 months. So OK, he’s a participant to control however nothing else. It’s not a negotiation, there is no such thing as a proposal. No superior talks, perhaps they are going to change their minds within the coming months, however nothing imminent.
What about in midfield then, Chelsea have extra of a mature squad there, Kante is effectively into his 30s, Jorginho too. There are debates about their contracts, what’s the technique there, to get them locked all the way down to long run offers? Or to promote them earlier than they actually lose their worth? And which gamers would possibly are available – Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni appears favourites.
Sure as you say, they want a technique and they’re going to have on as a result of Chelsea are at all times superb with this level. For Jorginho the participant needs to remain, he’s been talking for a very long time with Chelsea. His agent say he’s ready to open talks to resume a contract. But it surely’s not on the ultimate levels but. So it is going to take time. For Kante, instantly after the Champions League ultimate Chelsea advised individuals near N’Golo Kante they wish to open talks within the coming months, in a relaxed method. So that they needed to maintain the participant relaxed within the Euros, they don’t wish to rush it. In the intervening time there may be nonetheless no negotiations. So Kante and Chelsea usually are not speaking a couple of new contract as of now however it’s one of many issues that Chelsea have on their agenda. So I believe that’s the plan with Kante long run. However you already know with these sorts of gamers, with prime golf equipment on the lookout for midfielders, as I mentioned earlier than with the strikers, this 12 months will likely be a giant massive summer time for midfielders. PSG and plenty of different golf equipment will likely be on the lookout for them – so let’s see what occurs.
For the second it’s one of many issues Chelsea have on their agenda. They wish to signal a brand new midfielder, they needed to do it final summer time. Saul was a chance, they usually did it as a result of it was a chance, additionally as a result of they weren’t in a position to spend massive cash after the transfers they’d already had. However let’s see what occurs with Saul, the way it finally ends up. In the intervening time it’s not the very best second for him, however I’m positive after adapting to English life and plenty of different issues he’ll carry out at a better stage as a result of I belief this participant and I actually like him. Other than Saul, I’m positive that subsequent summer time Chelsea are on the lookout for a defensive midfielder. Tchouameni is a participant they actually recognize, they’ve at all times been in contact along with his agent – who is identical as Jules Kounde’s. That’s how the contact began. The participant would like to go to the Premier League someday. There are a whole lot of gamers on this race – Juventus have an interest if the deal is subsequent summer time not January. Actual Madrid are holding tabs on midfielders together with Tchouameni. It’s an extended race, however Chelsea are there.
For Declan Rice – many, many membership concerned. Man U are holding tabs. Man Metropolis will go for a midfielder too and Rice is appreciated, so will probably be a extremely difficult one, additionally due to the value. West Ham one 12 months in the past have been asking for €80m, I believe now he’s price greater than this, so it’s going to be a sophisticated negotiation.
Numerous groups bidding the value up, as you say. I believe Tchouameni may have been seen as an inexpensive choice not way back, however now he’s getting two France caps in each worldwide break, you possibly can simply see that worth rising and a whole lot of groups considering “we should always have made that transfer earlier than.”
Sure, I agree, this worth final summer time was round €38, €40m, now you’re not signing this participant for that. You’re spending €60-65m. As you point out he’s enjoying within the nationwide group, he’s enjoying nice with Monaco. On the finish of the season might be round €65m and it’s not going to be simple. However Chelsea are linked, and it’s a participant they love, and it’s a participant they may use sooner or later. If you assume a participant is price this cash, it might be the appropriate alternative. But it surely’s nonetheless not on the negotiation stage.
And he would nonetheless be an inexpensive choice in comparison with Rice – who could be within the €100m+ vary. With the massive English groups concerned, the value is at all times going to be inflated.
That’s how it’s with English gamers, you already know higher than me, when gamers are English and prime English golf equipment need them, the value is completely different, and this a part of the market in each single nation. Spanish gamers in Spain, Italian gamers in Italy, it’s completely regular. However on the identical time I might say that I believe additionally Declan Rice himself must decide on the finish of the season. The place he needs to go, as a result of he was in a negotiation with Chelsea one 12 months in the past, we all know how shut it was as a result of Chelsea have been severe on this deal. Then Man United have been holding tabs on him final summer time, and plenty of many golf equipment are concerned on this race, so it’s additionally concerning the participant on this case.
Lastly we’re left in aim, and there’s just one participant we are able to go together with in aim – the world’s costliest goalkeeper Kepa. Fortunately Edu Mendy’s executed so effectively that no one talks about Kepa a lot anymore, however absolutely Chelsea should take into consideration attempting to get some cash for him finally, or a mortgage. Do you assume something has ever been shut on that entrance? Have they ever had something they’ve thought of?
The goalkeeper market could be very completely different. Prime golf equipment have prime goalkeepers proper now, at this historic second – take a look at PSG, Actual Madrid, Barcelona, in England too, so it’s very tough to seek out the appropriate spot for these sorts of goalkeepers. And with massive salaries! As a result of the salaries of goalkeepers are getting greater, not simply Kepa, simply take a look at De Gea. Manchester United weren’t capable of finding any curiosity final summer time as a result of his wage is totally out of market. For this reason for Kepa it’s not going to be tremendous simple to discover a everlasting deal. That they had some approaches for loans however the participant needs to be 100% positive of his subsequent step, and I believe it’s regular after transferring to Chelsea, having a file transfer after which not performing at first so effectively. Now he’s doing nice, I believe he’s actually underrated at this stage, as a result of he’s doing very well when he’s known as upon for Chelsea. Now the boy is relaxed, he’s doing very well and I believe that is optimistic for him. So I’m positive they are going to search for alternatives, however I believe will probably be a mortgage with purchase choice, this type of deal. I believe it’s going to be tough to discover a everlasting deal for €30m or €40m.
In order that’s the form of worth you assume Chelsea would settle for, if somebody supplied Chelsea €40m now would they take it and lose €40m on their buy?
It’s very tough to place a worth on him. I’m saying €30m or €40m as a result of that’s my opinion, however to be sincere with you I don’t know what the ultimate worth could be I’m positive that Chelsea would settle for cash to permit the participant to go. In the intervening time no-one is providing, in fact they’re not going to simply accept one thing like €20m or €10m, so I believe not lower than €35m.
I believe Kepa is aware of Mendy is a particular goalkeeper, a particular participant, a improbable man, tremendous appreciated within the dressing room, and with the followers. Chelsea had the prospect to signal Donnarumma as a free agent final summer time, however he wasn’t satisfied to go to England, and Chelsea have been completely positive in saying “we wish to go on with Mendy” and having Mendy figuring out that “he’s our goalkeeper.” They didn’t wish to put stress on him. He has an unbelievable variety of clear sheets this season, he’s actually the very best, actually underrated.
A few fast questions for you earlier than we end: Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta. What would you say out of ten, how probably that they keep one other 12 months every?
For Thiago Silva it’s near 9 or 10, he’s tremendous proud of London, with Chelsea, he needs to remain and play the World Cup, and enjoying on the prime stage and staying in Europe is necessary. They may speak quickly over a brand new contract till 2023 however it’s a matter of time to debate and discover a strategy to proceed togehter.
For Azpilicueta it’s true that Barcelona have an curiosity in him as they’ve mentioned in Spain. It’s true that there’s an curiosity in him in Barcelona, as a result of they’re on the lookout for these sorts of alternatives, Azpi, Christensen, these sorts of alternatives. However on the identical time, he’s a part of Chelsea he loves Chelsea, and for his or her half they’re planning to satisfy him and supply him a brand new deal they usually’re very relaxed.
We’ve had a whole lot of supervisor actions within the final couple of weeks within the Premier League, and we all know your Premier League group is Watford. In the event you have been selecting one in every of these prime guys – Tuchel, Guardiola, Klopp or Conte, who could be the one you decide at Watford and why?
I believe it’s actually underrated internationally what Thomas Tuchel did with Chelsea final season. Arriving on the membership on the finish of December, in a tough scenario and profitable the Champions League. For my part it’s one thing historic. It’s one of many largest issues achieved by a supervisor within the historical past of soccer. Profitable the Champions League with that group, it’s particular. For my part it wasn’t a group to win the Champions League. It was an excellent group, a powerful group, however it wasn’t on the extent of PSG or Man Metropolis. I imply the entire squad of 23 or 24 gamers, so chapeau to Thomas Tuchel and his gamers.
However my decide could be Antonio Conte. I’m in love with this supervisor. You realize why – you requested me about Watford. If’ I’m Barcelona president perhaps I might say Guardiola or Klopp or Tuchel but when I’m Watford president I believe that Antonio is particular to have in these tough conditions, to show these conditions into profitable conditions. He’s a winner and he alters the mentality within the membership. I believe he’s the right supervisor for these conditions, as at Tottenham. They did a masterpiece to get him, it was inconceivable 3 or 4 months to get him, they usually did it. You realize from Chelsea how particular he’s.
That’s what makes it so laborious for us, regardless of how issues ended, most followers like me love Conte a lot and it’s coronary heart breaking watching a recreation like yesterday and wanting him to lose. It felt unnatural, wanting him to lose. I can see Conte out of all of these managers right away at Watford, simply with any outdated group of gamers you possibly can think about him with a little bit of shouting and some hardcore drills and ideally a preseason I can see him getting anybody one other ten locations up within the desk for positive.
I agree, I agree, I agree.
That solely leaves one query left then – Chelsea are up on the prime of the league for the time being however there are a whole lot of prime groups on the market. Who’s going to win the league this season any why is it Chelsea?
*laughs politely* I nonetheless assume Man Metropolis are favourites due to their squad of 23 gamers. So I see Man Metropolis because the favourites. However I believe Chelsea will compete till the final recreation. They have been unbelievable towards Leicester, and it was spectacular how positive they’re in every little thing they do on the pitch. On the psychological facet, the technical facet, this group is unbelievable. Now they’re like a machine. Chelsea are like a machine. I really like watching Chelsea now, they’re a severe group, a global group, utterly modified in a single 12 months. And so I believe they are going to compete till the final recreation to win the Premier League. They are going to be in it and within the Champions League, I’m positive they are going to do nice. As a result of as I say, they appear like XI machines on the pitch, and it means within the psychological facet Tuchel did one thing nice. The way in which his groups go on the pitch each time is basically particular. And that’s with out Lukaku.
So you actually imagine Tuchel will discover a method to make use of Lukaku and he’ll find yourself with 20 targets this season?
I don’t know concerning the targets, however I’m positive Tuchel will discover the answer and after the harm will likely be again a prime participant.
Thank you a lot, Fabrizio.