DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 19: Gregory Van Der Wiel of the Netherlands clashes with Daisuke Matsui of Japan during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group E match between Netherlands and Japan at Durban Stadium on June 19, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Gregory Van der Wiel has long been rumored to be an eventual target for Chelsea FC. Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while have no doubt seen him profiled or attached to the club any number of times. With AVB becoming the latest in a long line of managers who have struggled with finding a good long term solution at right back here at Chelsea, it would make sense that we'd have some renewed interest in the Dutch right back. Still just 23 and having somewhat of a down season with only 18 months left on his contract it appears Van der Wiel would fit the youthful buying policy and probably be a fairly reasonably priced buy. Unfortunately for Chelsea, it appears the club may have waited a bit too long to make this move.
As far back as last month it was pretty clear that Valencia had some interest in the player, and Van der Wiel even went on record as saying he and Valencia had agreed to personal terms should the clubs work out an agreement. The clubs haven't yet agreed to a fee for the young dutchman, but VdW's agent is now doing his best to warn off other clubs from entering the fray. In a recent interview Hakim Slimani was quoted with the following statement:
Maybe Ajax are hoping that another club will make an offer, but Gregory has already made his decision, and wants to join Valencia
It does appear Valencia is in line to receive quite a bargain on the defender. I can't really see the deal stalling over 2 million Euros, especially with the public pressure that VdW and his agent are now putting on the club. While I could certainly see Chelsea trumping the Valencia offer for the player, Ajax is reportedly insisting on keeping him through the spring so I'd be very surprised if he's a legitimate target this January anyway.