Alfredo Pedullà, the Oracle of Sarri, is not done yet, not by a long shot, and he’s back making news about Chelsea.
He’s not promising action deadlines (something he actually had trouble with on the head coach story) but he strongly suggests that Chelsea may be in the home stretch for Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani.
He claims that Fali Ramadani, who is nominally an agent with deep ties to players in the Balkans but who seems to be involved in all things Chelsea in the transfer market, is in Turin and has been meeting with Juventus Sporting Director Fabio Paratici.
Chelsea have been connected with two Juve players, Rugani and striker Gonzalo Higuain. The current talks are focused on 23-year-old Rugani, with Pedullà claiming that Chelsea are willing to top £40m to break the deadlock and bring the defender to London forewith.
He suggests that we might see a deal sometime in the next week. It’s unclear why we’d want to pay more than the previously rumored €35-40m release clause, but maybe we’re in a hurry.
After all, the season starts in less than four weeks and the squad has to learn a brand new philosophy and style of football. Much like Conte, Sarri drills his players relentlessly until exact positioning, precise movement, correct decisions, and set plays and passing moves become second nature.
With time running out and World Cup players arriving late, it’s going to be hard for him to drill Chelsea to the degree that he wants.
But there’s a shortcut: bring in players who already know the system. One such player is Jorginho. Another would be Rugani, who played a season and a half under Sarri at Empoli before moving to Juventus.
That sort of thinking might also explain why Sarri is reportedly interested in Higuain, a 30-year-old player with declining production and a hefty price tag. Normally he’s not the kind of player Chelsea would look to bring in.
But he played very successfully for Sarri in Napoli and could represent a quick fix to the problem of bring the team up to speed (already existing logjam at that position notwithstanding).
But according to Pedullà, that deal is on the backburner. Top priority is Rugani.
Make it rain, Fali Ramadani, make it rain.