DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18: Custodio of SC Braga challenges Alvaro Pereira of FC Porto during the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Update: Other media outlets in Portugal are reporting that the Pereira deal is for less money than the full buyout clause. €22M would be far more appealing (but still not great).
Well this is odd news. Portuguese news outlet A Bola - whom we've been dealing with a lot over the past year and are generally reliable - have run with the news that Chelsea are about to get their man in Urguayan wingback Alvaro Pereira. By paying his buyout clause:
A saída de Álvaro Pereira estará na iminência de receber a necessária confirmação oficial, com o Chelsea preparado para receber o internacional uruguaio e a depositar na conta da SAD portista uma verba aproximada aos 30 milhões de euros previstos na cláusula de rescisão do contrato entre o futebolista e os dragões.
-Source: A Bola.
Some Google Translating later...
Alvaro Pereira's departure is about to be officially confirmed, with Chelsea ready to receive the Uruguayan international and deposit into the account of SAD FC Porto approximately €30M to pay off a termination clause provided for in the contract between the player and Dragons.
Which is.. well, it's something, I guess. I'm still not sure why Chelsea would need Pereira, but nobody doubts that he's a fine player (Pereira is profiled here). However €30M is so over the top for him that I'm just not sure what I can possibly say about it. Chelsea have been linked to two types of transfer this summer - the first for excellent young players who are coming in relatively cheaply and the second for superstar midfielders who would break the bank.
This would be a third type of signing. Pereira isn't particularly young and he's definitely not cheap, nor is he a superstar in a position of great need for the club. In that light, I don't get this move at all, and am really hoping that A Bola is wrong. Please, please, please be wrong. I don't think I would be in a happy place if insane money is shelled out in a way that doesn't improve the midfield passing. At least overpaying for Javier Pastore or Luka Modric would have led to a huge difference in the way Chelsea play...