According to the Daily Mail today, Chelsea may be forced to let Maurizio Sarri go to Juventus without even receiving money for the remainder of his contract, because of the £8m they still owe the Italian club for striker Gonzalo Higuain’s loan in the second half of last season.
If that is the case, Chelsea should seriously be considering hiring a fraud lawyer to look into that deal. The idea that we paid that much money for a 6 month loan of a clearly washed up player is mad – what’s even scarier is that it’s implied in the article that that’s only part of what we gave the Italian team to get the big boned striker lumbering up front for us for half a season.
He did his best, but looked a shadow of his former self compared to how he played under Maurizio Sarri just a couple of years ago at Napoli. By the end of the season he’d even lost his place to Olivier Giroud. Considering his wages, even an £8 fee would have been a scandal let alone £8m!
Honestly, if we hadn’t seen Chelsea do this thing time and time again we’d be questioning whether the whole thing was a money laundering scam. A fraud lawyer would be a start, but maybe a private investigator would be a better bet to get to the bottom of who is actually making these insane decisions.
Eden Hazard is reportedly being paid £400,000 a week in his new deal at Real, which is clearly s staggering sum, but will likely be worth every penny – just like Liverpool opening their chequebook for Virgil Van Dijk last January. You still have to pay up for the top players, but that is a much more palatable task if you’re not haemorrhaging cash in other ways.
In the end, trying to save money on buying a top striker has proved to be a false economy for Chelsea, as we’ve been forced to waste this kind of cash on short term solutions. It’s been clear for a long time that once Morata began to fade, we had to get stuck in to the process of finding the perfect long term replacement.
As always in football, cutting corners leads to inflated costs. Long term planning, use of the academy, appointing a director of football and so on will all save us money in these smaller ways, meaning next time we have the change to get a really big name for really big money, we will be in the perfect position to take advantage of it.