CHESTER, PA - JULY 25: Ashley Cole #3 of Chelsea jumps over Aurelien Collin #78 of MLS All-Stars during the first half of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park on July 25, 2012 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Courtesy of Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, I once learned a very important lesson about transfer rumours. A few years ago, we'd routinely get some reports on how Ramos was set for Chelsea. And when I say 'routinely' I mean 'once every couple of weeks whenever we were anywhere near a transfer window'. As you may have noticed, Sergio Ramos still plays for Real Madrid.
As it turns out, the Ramos to Chelsea rumours were more or less engineered by the player's agent as he was angling for a new contract. He had no intention of joining the Blues -- we were just a boogyman with lots of money and a habit of spending big on silly things. Chelsea were a threat, a tool used to get more money as Ramos negotiated for a higher wage packet. He eventually got one, and the rumours were no more.
And now Chelsea are seeing that same trick employed by one of their own players. How the wheel turns, eh? There's a new evil money monster on the block, and its name is Paris Saint-Germain. After an audacious double swoop for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, it's easy to believe that PSG will do anything, no matter how financially irresponsible that might be. Including signing a 32-year-old Ashley Cole to a three year megadeal.
Yeah, that report is in the Mirror, so it's not trustworthy. That's a red herring, though. I think it's fairly obvious that this story's a plant. With Cole's contract set to expire at the end of the season, he's going for what's going to be the last big-money deal of his career, and will want to make the most out of it. Using PSG as a decoy is a way of putting pressure on the Blues to sign him to a big contract and fast.
Whether or not that's a good idea is up for debate. It's not completely insane to suggest that Ryan Bertrand is a comparable player right now, and the club might be better off letting Cole walk rather than hitching their wagon to a fading power. This is a message from Cole to Chelsea that not enough money is on the table. My suspicion is that if the Blues cave in at this point, they'll regret it.