MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Micah Richards of Manchester City competes with Hulk of FC Porto during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Manchester City and FC Porto at the Etihad Stadium on February 22, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Normally I don't get to read anything the Times put out, because everything sits behind a paywall, but thanks to the Jubilee this weekend said paywall is down. I have no idea how trustworthy they are, because hey, never get to read them, but they're the ones updating us on the Hulk and Eden Hazard news, so let's listen. With several grains of salt, of course...
- Hulk. They're reporting that a transfer fee has not been agreed with Porto, with Chelsea insisting on going no higher than £30M for his services. Also, there are claims that a wage packet of four years at than £135,000 a week has been agreed, which would be very strange as it would increase the relative amortisation hit on Hulk by 20%. Very odd, and I'm not sure how much I trust it.
- Eden Hazard. A deal is 'in place' to take Hazard to Stamford Bridge when the transfer window opens. Other than that, it's the same news we've always had. It's unclear whether the Times means that he won't be unveiled until July 1st or not, but that long of a wait would be a major surprise.
- Radamel Falcao. Apparently Chelsea scouts have been informed that the Atletico Madrid striker is now their 'top priority'. Which is strange, because Fernando Torres would certainly not be the number one centre forward under that setup. This directly contradicts the assurances Torres has been given by the club's brass.
So yeah, there's the gossip. I'm not taking anything in that post as gospel, and you shouldn't either, but it's something to think about. In general, it's Hazard done, Hulk not quite done, and Chelsea have more in the works. Sounds about right overall, even though I am questioning some of the details.