Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday July 11 2009
It's a conspiracy theorist sports hacks dream. But both Chelsea and City fans will begin to get totally fed up with this 'will he, won't he' saga the longer it drags on...
City's stunning move for 'Mr. Chelsea' has reminded us all of The Citizen's tremendous financial clout as it did with the Sky Blues' ultimately doomed moves for the AC Milan devotee Kaka and the high stakes chancer Samuel Eto'o.
Sheikh Mansour is deadly serious in his intent to break up the increasingly boring Premier League status quo and the upcoming third bid for Terry arrows straight to the heart of 'The Big Four/ Sky Four' monopoly. If there is one thing Ancelotti, Taggart, Wenger or Benitez have learned this summer, it is that City are here to stay.
Still, as is not uncommon with this level of modern era football transfer, the protracted negotiations and bidding involved leave a chasm in which all sorts of nonsense unfolds. Take The Sun's shrieking headline that City want to pay Terry £300,000 per week. I can assure you that is rubbish. Yet as with Silvio Berlusconi's announcement that City had offered £100 million for Kaka's services, so many people have bought into the myth hook, line and sinker.
Deeper still, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Chelsea's hierarchy was heading for civil war such has been the tripe conjured up in some 'Fleet Street' bars this past week!
In amongst all this, the paying customers, ie the fans are left to speculate and counter speculate until our message boards threaten to meltdown.
Looking at this in purely footballing terms, Terry has exactly the credentials required, despite his age or battle fatigue to pull together a young and exciting Manchester City side. As Chelsea's sole homegrown player in their starting XI, he knows what is needed for a young lad to establish himself amongst seasoned professionals.
City fans will testify to the fact that outside of the dreadful Tal Ben-Haim, Mark Hughes has proved a shrewd operator in the transfer market and is putting together a side built upon a backbone of English speaking, Premier League experienced players mixing academy graduates with established stars. Terry would more than fit the bill as a figurehead.
We can expect the intrigue to come to a conclusion any day now. As is the way in the modern era, Chelsea's squad fly to the USA next week and City's to South Africa.
Carlo 'Sturridge' Ancelloti and Mark Hughes are sure to address their respective masses before their planes push back. Should England's Captain appear alongside Ancelotti, we'll know that City's audacious bid has failed. Similarly if he maintains his silence and doesn't show, we'll all be looking to Manchester Airport.
I cannot imagine that Terry is taking this lightly. Some of Chelsea's followers have suggested that their captain is using City's bid as a means to engineer a Stamford Bridge salary level with that of the unlikeable prima donna Michael Ballack. Some City fans have pondered that a deal involving Carlos Tevez is mixed up in all this, despite reports that FA "controlled" third party ownership issues are alledgedly holding up his move to City. Surely not? Only the next 72 hours or so will tell.
Ultimately, it will come down to the player. So come on John, time to nail your colours to the mast before those pre-season tour ships sail.
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Date:Saturday July 11 2009
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