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Avram Granted £100million

Finally there’s something we can agree with both Roman and Grant on if we’re to believe the latest headlines announcing their “united belief” that the squad is in dire need of an overhaul. Naturally it has to be a little more sensational than that, with the rags talking of Abramovich “defying the wrath of Chelsea fans” not only by keeping Grant in the job but also giving him £100million to spend. Whilst some allege Abramovich wants to repay Grant for stepping so quickly into his predecessor’s shoes, no doubt hoping to be vindicated for making that decision in the process, others ‘reliably’ inform us Grant’s position for next season remains unclear and could still be determined by results. But, whichever version you choose to believe, the one certainty is that the inherited squad is unsuitable for requirements and a mass clear-out is on the cards.

In what is being hailed as “the most dramatic upheaval since the unprecedented summer of spending” announcing Roman’s arrival at the club five years ago, as many as ten players could be heading for the Stamford Bridge exit. Peripheral players such as Pizarro, Sidwell and the unhappy Tal Ben-Haim, who seems to have found his voice if not his form at Chelsea, might as well grab their coats now. Shevchenko, we hear, is Milan bound, although to be fair, we’ve been hearing that one for the past two years. Whilst Grant’s preferred bench warmers: Malouda; Wright-Phillips; Bridge; Cudicini and Belletti, are placed in the ‘don’t know’ bracket, mainly because it won’t be easy to find clubs either capable of, or prepared to pay the inflated wages they’ve become accustomed to. Add to that the lengthy contracts, and we’re heading for some heavy financial losses this summer. With clubs such as Real Madrid courting the more than receptive Drogba, and Lampard also rumoured to be flirting with the idea of a summer move, it would appear the powers that be plan to eradicate any remaining allies from the previous regime and recoup some loose change in the process.

So, given an almost fresh start and £100million to play with, what would any other discerning manager do with it? Personally I’d try and lure the one-man goal machine away from Utd and see if I could scrape enough together for a beer with the change, but I’m not sure Grant’s got the right vital statistics to suit Ronaldo’s tastes, so who will he go for and how exactly does he plan on persuading them to sign? Certainly recent stories in the press don’t offer much encouragement if it’s to be believed that both David Villa and Johnathan De Guzman, given the choice would choose pretty football at the Emirates. But no matter, because Rafael van der Vaart is reported to be almost desperate for a career at The Bridge, provided we ‘stump up the required cash’, of course.

Roman however, is writing his own shopping list (or so we’re told), with the likes of Kaka, Messi and Ribery on his ‘most wanted’ list. The fact that Messi has a contract with Barca until 2014, Kaka agreed an extension to his in February, keeping him at AC Milan until 2013 and Ribery is contracted to Bayern until 2011 appears to have been overlooked when budgeting. So, unless there’s a clearance sale at ‘Players Are Us’ to match the one at Stamford Bridge this summer, I suspect the Russian’s going to be disappointed somewhere along the line.

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