Did you think now that Lucas Moura is almost done and dusted that this was the end of the transfer rumors involving Tottenham Hotspur? Oh honey. It never stops. The latest is perhaps the pure, uncut crystalline essence of a transfer rumor saga, and it involves perhaps the most unlikeliest of Tottenham players: Fernando Llorente.
In short: Llorente has emerged as a possible transfer target for Chelsea as the convoluted stand-off between Arsenal, Dortmund, and Chelsea continues, involving the transfers of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Michy Batshuayi, and Olivier Giroud.
Here’s how it works, near as I can tell:
- Aubameyang wants out of Dortmund and wants to go to Arsenal
- Dortmund won’t sell unless they have a replacement, and their top target is Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi
- Chelsea’s happy to let Michy go to Dortmund on loan, but they want to sign Oliver Giroud from Arsenal (after their links to Roma’s Eden Dzeko cooled).
- Arsenal, naturally, won’t let Giroud go until they secure Aubameyang.
- Chelsea turn to other targets, including Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente
And what’s most hilarious is that reportedly Daniel Levy would sanction Llorente leaving for Chelsea in this window, five months after signing him for £17m, so long as he makes a healthy profit on the deal.
On Llorente I’m told Tottenham will only consider selling him for around £25m in this window. He could still become Chelsea’s fall-back plan if they can’t get an agreement for Giroud.— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) January 30, 2018
That’s... insane. And also hilarious. We bat-countried the Llorente-to-Chelsea rumor earlier in the month because it just seemed so damn ridiculous. But Llorente has played under Conte before and they’ve reportedly got a very good relationship.
Frankly, this is something that Levy should immediately do if they get an actual offer from Chelsea. Llorente turns 33 years old next month, has played only 700 minutes for Spurs, and has scored 2 goals. As much as we praised his performance against Real Madrid earlier this season, if Chelsea were to actually offer that kind of money or anything close to it before the close of the window, Levy should accept it without hesitation.
That would leave Tottenham without a primary backup striker, but hell, they barely have one with Llorente, and Son Heung-Min can deputize like he did last season. The side benefit from Llorente going to Chelsea would be that it’s likely to screw over Arsenal, and that’s reason enough for me to give this the thumbs-up.