Transfer Deadline Day As It Happened; Chelsea Sign Meireles

Oh man. Stonking hangover. Gonna regret this. Anyway, here we go. Transfer deadline day – live! I’m going to do my best to keep up with all the transfer news that affects Chelsea FC. Join me. Please. You never know, it could yet be a repeat of January. All comments welcome. But please don’t use the phrase “window slams shut”. I will ban you.

9:20 a.m.: Let’s start with BBC Sport’s gossip column. The Sun reports that we have made a £30m move for Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery, while the Daily Mirror says we’ve agreed a £20m deal to sign Porto’s Alvaro Pereira. We have also been linked with moves for Genk’s Kevin De Bruyne, Bolton’s Gary Cahill and of course Spurs’ Luka Modric, although Harry Redknapp has told Sky Sports News he is ‘one million percent’ certain Modric will not make a deadline day move away from White Hart Lane. Yeah, yeah.

Right, that’s enough for now. I’m going in search of coffee and ibuprofen.

9:50 a.m.: Ian McGarry on Twitter reacting to the Ribery rumours:

Owner’s desire for better club image doesn’t stretch to under age prostitute scandals.

Quite. I don’t think Ribery’s all that anyway. Much better players out there.

As for transfers out of Stamford Bridge, Yossi Benayoun is moving to one of Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Galatasaray or quite possibly Accrington Stanley. No one knows. Come to think of it, no one knows anything.

Alex and Malouda’s names have also been linked with moves elsewhere.

And yes, Blueboydave, Kaka’s name has been spotted in several Twitter streams. It’s obligatory.

9:53 a.m.: Maddest rumour of the day so far. We have offered Hilario and £3m to Bolton for Kevin Davies.

10:10 a.m.: Oh. I forgot Joao Moutinho. We’ve been linked with him too.

10:50 a.m.: I risked it and popped out for half an hour. Did I miss anything? Only that McGarry fella on Twitter again:

[Chelsea] will offer £30m plus Florent Malouda to [Spurs] in exchange for Luka Modric. [Spurs] have asked for Didier Drogba.

They can have Malouda.

11:05 a.m.: More Twitter rumour. We have rejected a loan move for McEachran to Wigan. Good.

11:30 a.m.: Right. I’ve ingested a couple of slices of toast slathered with Marmite and inhaled a pot of coffee. Feeling a lot further from death than I did an hour ago.

Best Twitter rumour so far. Torres to Atletico Madrid on loan.

12:00 p.m.: Twelve Eleven hours to go. Just 12 11.

Accrington Stanley chief executive Rob Heys has told BBC Sport:

It’s going to be a very quiet day. I’ve told the manager to turn off his phone because he’s got enough players. I don’t expect any movement… unless Fernando Torres becomes available.

Benayoun is said to be disappointed.

12:15 p.m.: Rumour. Alex to Juventus for £8m.

12:50 p.m.: Remember a player called Joe Cole? He’s just signed for French champions Lille on a season-long loan. Liverpool promised him Champions League football…

1:00 p.m.: Ten hours to go…

1:10 p.m.: Tweet from Football Agent:

Ribery signs for Chelsea.

1:20 p.m.: Tweet from Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle’s Dan Levene:

Ignore the Ribery nonsense. People who know more about German football than me say Ribery can’t be transferred: not on the Bundesliga list.

1:22 p.m.: Clarification:

Bundesliga list doesn’t prevent overseas transfers (so wouldn’t rule out Ribery). Still can’t see it happening.

1:35 p.m.: Vitesse loan for Davila.

1:50 p.m.: Bored so Googled hangover cures. I’m a fan of hair of the dog but that’s ruled out because I have to drive later. Looks like I will have to ride this one out.

2:00 p.m.: Nine hours to go…

2:25 p.m.: BBC’s Dan Roan on Twitter:

Reliably informed as it stands Alex will not be going to Arsenal, and talks between Chelsea and Porto for Alvaro Pereira have broken down.

2:50 p.m.: Talk of Benayoun returning to Liverpool. Hints at Meireles coming the other way.

2:55 p.m.: Raphael Honigstein on Twitter re Ribery:

Bayern sporting director Nerlinger to Süddeutsche: ‘no offer & complete non-starter’.

3:00 p.m.: Eight hours to go. EIGHT HOURS. If we don’t sign anyone I’m going to be bitterly disappointed.

3:55 p.m.: Uh-oh.

Sky Bet: Liverpool now 2/1 favourites to sign Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge today. They were 9/1 to sign him before, but we’ve seen a steady stream of bets this afternoon.

4:00 p.m.: Seven hours to go…

Round-up: Nothing has happened. Nothing. Nada. Squat. Zip. It’s all quiet on the West London front. I’m going outside.

4:15 p.m.: Word on the Tweet:

Florent Malouda, linked with Spurs as part of Modric deal, says: “I’ve still got two years left on my Chelsea contract.” Refusing to go.

5:00 p.m.: Six hours to go. Hitting the bottle. Hair of the dog.

5:20 p.m.: Rumours of a late bid for 26-year-old Cesena midfielder Marco Parolo.

6:11 p.m.: Four hours and 49 minutes to go…

To borrow a phrase from the inimitable Homer Simpson: “Boring.”

6:45 p.m.: Benayoun is in talks with Arsenal about a loan move.

I just tuned into Sky Sports News for the first time today. Oh dear. Oh dearie me.

6:55 p.m.: Van Aanholt to Wigan on a season-long loan.

7:20 p.m.: Sky Sports News. Pointless. At least half an hour behind Twitter. “Sky sources” my arse.

7:30 p.m.: Kakuta to Bolton on loan until January.

7:35 p.m.: Dan Levene on Twitter:

Looking like confirmation from the Emirates: Yossi Benayoun on season-long loan to Arsenal.

8:08 p.m.: Two hours and 52 minutes to go. No news is good news, right? I’m starting to suspect this has been a bit of a waste of time. Hmm…

9:50 p.m.: I’ve kinda lost interest. Watching TV. Not Sky Sports News. Still have an eye on Twitter though. £40m for Modric? Insane. Spurs’ Levy insane to turn it down.

10:07 p.m.: Back in the hot seat. I haven’t lost all hope just yet…

10:33 p.m.: Benayoun has confirmed on his personal Twitter account that he has signed for Arsenal.

10:35 p.m.: Meireles has submitted a transfer request:

Liverpool Football Club have tonight confirmed that Raul Meireles has submitted a written transfer request.

It’s looking more likely he will be our one signing on the last day of the transfer window.

10:50 p.m.: Dan Levene on Twitter:

This from BBC on Harry’s claimed £40m Chelsea bid for Modric: it was actually £30m + Alex (good sources). Spurs turned it down.

10:52 p.m.: Benayoun’s season-long loan move to Arsenal confirmed by the club.

11:00 p.m.: Deadline day comes to an end, the transfer window is closed. Waiting on official confirmation that we’ve signed Meireles from Liverpool for £12m.

11:08 p.m.: Meireles signing confirmed by the club:

Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Raul Meireles from Liverpool on a four-year contract.

11:25 p.m.: I’m happy with how things turned out. As much as I admire Modric £30-40m was too much. Is he better than Fabregas who went for £35m? No. Spurs are left with an unhappy player while we get Meireles for £12m. Not bad for a proven 28-year-old international. Nice set of tattoos too. I like what I’ve seen of him and, according to Opta Sports, he’s scored as many Premier League goals in 2011 (five) as Torres. So there’s that. Also, two of our promising youngsters – Van Aanholt and Kakuta – have gone on loan to Premier League clubs. The future’s bright. But for now, as Mark said, let’s all be patient during what is likely to be a season of transition.


There are 66 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Ah, I started the day with a warm glow of recognition at seeing an old friend again with that “Chelsea bid for Ribery” story.

    Should we expect a return of the Kaka rumour before the day is out?

    Nick, will you be mentioning Twitter as your source as often as possible today to make a point 😉

  2. Google_Christ

    Messi is in India my friends….Should I ask him to quit Barca and come to Chelsea instead… Shock Torres swap???

  3. Cunningplan

    Rumour has it we’ve put in a cheeky bid for Iniesta and Xavi.
    I thought I would change my mind and join in the frivolity Nick. 😉

  4. Anonymous

    All right, I won’t use the phrase “window slams sh*t”, but are we allowed to refer to Harry Redknapp “wheeling and dealing”?

    Let’s loan Torres to Yeovil.

    • Nick

      No. The next person to use either phrase will be banned and forced to watch Sky Sports News until midnight. Consider yourselves warned.

      • Anonymous


        I seem to remember predicting that Josh wouldn’t be sent out on loan this year. So expect the announcement that he’s off to Wigan very shortly.

  5. Anonymous

    Just back from my local library  [yes, we do still have some of those in my borough] to borrow a copy of “Aliens:Why They Are Here” by Bryan Appleyard.

    Thought it might give me some insight into the flurry of spurious, creative sightings at airports and training grounds that today always brings.

    I thought this Twitter thingy had its finger on the pulse. It must be a couple of hours now since I read Yossi was wandering around Heathrow looking for a plane to anywhere, but still no destination 😉

  6. petew

    Also selling Alex. Big big mistake if true.How many times has the ‘we’ll be fine with just three CBs blown up in our face now?’

    And with Utd for Sneijder back on, I’m getting a bit Fiftee-like….

  7. Anonymous

    BBC reports 

    Phil via text: “Ribery to Chelsea confirmed fee of €22m from reliable sources in Germany.”

  8. Anonymous

    Grauniad deadline day live blog reaction to Ribéry rumours:

    The Ribery to Chelsea rumour is swirling with increasing force. A few
    thoughts from our very own Bundesliga boffin Raf Honigstein on Twitter
    (@honigstein): “A few initial thoughts. a) he’s CL-tied. b) reported
    wages on offer far too low; c) German transfer list closed, so Bayern
    couldn’t bring anyone in, even if they sold.”

    Fingers crossed.

    You may all know all this already of course — I’m not on Twitter and therefore may as well be using Ceefax.

    • Anonymous

      Ah, Ceefax, now there was cutting edge technology for you!

      I remember having to wait for about 5 minutes for the rolling local cinema listings pages to come back round to mine [though technically I think that was on the Channel 4 equivalent].

      Puts slow broadband in perspective though…

  9. Cunningplan

    Sky Sports reporting that we’ve made a bid for one of the Gaddafi’s.

    Have we not signed anyone yet, or will we wait until 2 mins before the deadline?

  10. Anonymous

    Joe Cole moved to Lille on loan, couple years ago he left Chelsea because his exuberant wage demands were not satisfied. Isn’t it ironic, or should I say tragic?     

  11. Marco

    Just looked at the BBC website’s ‘Live Transfer Day’ hysteria and there must be about 4 or 5 worthwhile nuggets of information in 10 hours of breathless ‘news’. Nothing one couldn’t have picked up after a 15 minute delay on BBD’s Teletext. When will we see a campaign to make Transfer Day a Bank Holiday?

    • Marco

      Or, perhaps, David Dimbledy narrating on the processions bearing petitions to the Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane, demanding immediate player signatures before midnight 😉

  12. Anonymous

    Yossi to Arsenal then.

    Still think we need a midfielder, or is the rejection of Wigans move for Josh a sign he’ll play more?

    Don’t believe anything I read about Studge going, all the noises AVB has made thus far indicate he’s very firmly in plans.

      • Anonymous

        I suspect we’re failing to spot that legendary scouse wit at work with this one – seems more like desperation to me.

        Even the spoof rumours are running out of steam.

        Is there going to be a second wind or will it all end in a dull fart….

  13. Cunningplan

    Well if Yossi is going to Arse on loan, then I would assume we have a midfielder lined up as AVB said we’re short in that area.

    Could it be Modric? my theory if it is, that Spurs and us have agreed to leave it until the last minute so they’re not held to ransom with any of their targets, with the substantial money pot they’ll receive for him.

    Probably all bullshit, but it’s as good as all the other bullshit floating around the transfer world today!

  14. Anonymous

    Good to see Pat van Aa heading out on loan to a Premiership club with a proper manager. Let’s hope that means the suits reckon he’s a year or so away from replacing Cashley. Martinez did some commentary for the Euro U21 tournament early in the summer and he made more sense in two minutes than most pundits can manage in an hour.

    I assume everyone is now trying to copy the Man U model of sending the youth stars on loan for 2-3 years and then, hey presto, bringing them in and revealing them to be brilliant.

  15. Der_Kaiser

    *pops head up from behind plate of cassoulet and glass of claret in small village in southern France*

    Deadline day a bit shite then? Oh well – back to the vin rouge…

    • Austin Solari

      Great minds and and all that, old bean!!  Except my little French town is in Brittany (thankfully, one that the Brits haven’t really discovered yet)

      I sat on the beach yesterday and refused to drive into town and look at  SSN on the local cafe’s telly as our Brit papers are a day late. Then I decided to give in this morning and get a paper and then sat outside the said cafe until the owner decided to get out of bed (no formal opening hours here) and I could use his wifi to get first class info on here.

      Thank goodness, we have gone through a window and made some sensible transactions for a change.

  16. Ososdeoro

    I actually wouldn’t have minded Joe Cole coming back, despite the bitchy things he said on the way out. Oh well.

  17. Cunningplan

    Yes Nick I totally agree with you on Modric, totally mad on our offer, and on Levy’s refusal.
    Spurs are going to have one very unhappy player in their squad.

  18. Anonymous

    The club does’t seem to have done anything stupid yet. Doesn’t feel right. They must be saving it all up for some mega-idiotic last-second bombshell, some orgiastic climax of stupidity to outdo even the firing of Butch.

    (Yes, offering 40m for Modric is astonishingly stupid, but it doesn’t count if it’s unconfirmed.)

  19. Benjami

    Great transfer window for me. £40m was too much for a player who isn’t really a game changer, well done the board for not cracking and overspending.

    It shows teams that we won’t just spend a silly amount of money at the
    end of the window to get our player, we can actually walk away!

    We signed Mata and Lukaku, two amazing buys at good value for money. Mata was exactly the player we needed if Torres can’t score now then he will never score.

    We have 3 GKs

    Def: Brans, Cole, Luiz, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Terry, Alex, Bertrand (8)

    Mid: Essien, Romeu, Ramires, Lamps, Mikel, Josh (6)

    Att: Torres, Drogba, Malouda, Lukaku, Kalou, Sturridge, Anelka (7)

    Look at that, over 2 per position, and compare that team to last year we have Luiz, Mata, Torres and Lukaku. Imagine if we sign a few more 20s in the next year. Our team is changing for the good, average age dropping slowly go AVB!

  20. Anonymous

    Aye, colour me content at ‘only’ an outlay of £12m. Meireles impressed me loads last season, strange Liverpool signed so many midfielders when they had him in the ranks but maybe plans were afoot as soon as AVB arrived.

    Think he’ll fit in nicely. Should link up nicely with Mata. When he’s fit. How does a buying club approach a medical when the player in question is already injured. Do we just pray?

  21. Anonymous

    Modric wasn’t worth 4 times Meireles. Based on the Liverpool blog the scousers like Meireles and are sorry to see him go.

    Plus his injury doesn’t sound too serious – he’ll be back after the international break.

    In the next window I’d like to offer a huge sum to Spurs for any of their players and then pull out at 10:59.

  22. Cunningplan

    No doubting Meireles was a far better deal than the silly money for Modric, and Spurs will now have one unhappy bunny.

    Well at 11pm last night I opened a bottle of bubbly and sang a few lines of Auld Lang Syne to celebrate the shutting of the window, I think I could get used to this. 😉

      • wintermute000

        Well colour me purple, a transfer window where we did things sensibly for a change. great cut price option, 35 to 40 for modric would have been a bit silly IMO. my only gripe its that we didn’t offload kalou, if only to give sturridge a few more chances.

        • Anonymous

          Agree with your comment regrading our actions during the window. We did things sensibly and with some consideration in mind. It’s been a long time since we did anything like this, probably first time since TSO days. Kalou most probably will in January, if no injury crisis happens by then.  

  23. Anonymous

    My goodness. It’s like someone at Chelsea has a rational plan for the future or something. I suppose it must be AVB since no one else has changed, although (here’s a scary thought) perhaps it’s something to do with Emenalo, given that he’s now director of football or whatever.

    Particularly delighted by:

    1) the vote of confidence in Josh

    2) the impression that Pat and Kakuta are a year away (or half a year in Kakuta’s case) and being encouraged to think they’re getting closer to the first team squad

    3) the absence of a stupid big-name signing who wouldn’t have played many minutes

    4) the refusal to trade away anyone who can contribute, including Alex and Kalou

    As Nick says — you can’t help but be optimistic about the next few seasons, which will make this one much easier to sit through. Even better if we get to see a few of the up-and-coming players occasionally.

    • Johno

      That’s an interesting point about Emen.

      Also glad that we kept players who can/have done good stuff.

      Was travelling most of yesterday, so didn’t follow the news, but the first thing I checked today was that we hadn’t let Alex go. I know has had the odd dodgy performance, but on his day he’s world class, and then some.

      Looking forward to Saturday; it’s not a easy game (are there any of those left?) and we should see plenty of places being fought for.

    • Anonymous

      A possible, shocking explanation has emerged from my Deadline Day reading: “Aliens: Why They Are Here”.

      I reached chapter 3 last night where I read in amazement that in 1957 in Brazil, a Mr. Villas Boas was abducted by an alien spacecraft, had blood samples taken and was forced to impregnate a humanoid-like female who growled a lot.

      Could our own AVB be the result of a human-alien breeding experiment?

      Is Sepp Blatter the Spawn of The Devil?

      As someone said somewhere – The Truth Is Out There?

      Oh, come on, I need something to distract myself from a boring International weekend with the papers starting to print January 2012 Transfer Deadline rumours already 😉

  24. WorkingClassPost

    That Johno geezer’s me btw.

    This from the Beeb about manu’s claimed £110m profit:-

    “…Headline pre-tax profit came in at £29.7m, compared with a loss last year.

    The football club is preparing a partial flotation on the Singapore Stock Exchange to raise up to £600m.”.

    Am I wrong to be curious, or is there a bit of this story that hasn’t been checked/explained?

  25. Anonymous

    Media calls it refreshing fact that Capello omitted Lampard. He hasn’t got to the form since injury last year. He was quite pedestrian in our first three games. I kinda hoped he will be our Gigs, old but reliable player…

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