Karim Benzema’s transfer update prompts a ‘serious’ FFP relegation warning for Chelsea from Man City
Chelsea aren’t expected to spend as much in the January transfer window as they did last year, but there is still plenty of life in the rumour mill. The Blues have been heavily linked with several big names this month, including the likes of Karim Benzema and Victor Osimhen.
But if Mauricio Pochettino wants some new faces around Stamford Bridge then he may need to offload some players. Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja continue to face uncertain futures in west London, with any potential Cobham academy graduate sale going down as ‘pure profit’.
So, with that being said, football.london have taken a look at a handful of the biggest Chelsea stories on Friday, January 19.
Karim Benzema’s lawyer, Hugues Vigier, has issued a major update on his client’s future. The 36-year-old striker has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea recently as Pochettino looks to further bolster his frontline during the January transfer window.
As quoted by the Independent, Vigier admitted he would like to see Benzema return to boyhood club Lyon one day. However, the France international’s representative clarified that they haven’t discussed a potential move since signing a bumper three-year deal in Saudi Arabia in the summer.
He told French channel RMC: “When you are used to a certain level [of performance] and your results are a little less good at a given moment, people immediately say that it is the end of your career. I have to say that I would be quite happy to see him come back to play in Lyon, I would like it… but he hasn’t told me that yet!”
football.london says: Benzema would be an excellent signing for Chelsea. Not only would the Frenchman stop the Blues from spending an eye-watering amount on either Ivan Toney or Victor Osimhen, he’d also be a great mentor for Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner is by no means the long-term solution to Chelsea’s problems in front of goal, but he is just what Pochettino needs until the summer. Experience, quality and leadership in abundance.
Gallagher given harsh verdict
William Gallas has voiced his concern with Conor Gallagher, who currently faces an uncertain future at Chelsea. Speaking to Gambling Zone, the former Blues defender suggested that Pochettino needs to sacrifice the Cobham graduate in order to find a system which sees Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo thrive
“Conor Gallagher is a great runner but quality-wise, he isn’t the same as Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo,” said Gallas. “He can help your team to press and press very high, but when he has the ball his quality and technique is not number one.
“It will take more time to play a pass and find his teammate, take an extra touch and in another situation, he should try and play one touch. I think it’s the opinion of many people that he slows Chelsea down a bit and maybe they need to change their system in order to give the opportunity to another player as this system might not suit them.”
football.london says: Gallagher has been a brilliant servant for Chelsea this season but, as much as we appreciate him, Gallas has a point. However, until the Blues – and Pochettino – can prove that they’re ready to rub shoulders with Europe’s best in both the Premier League and the Champions League, the midfielder has every right to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Man City sent relegation warning
Stefan Borson, a lawyer and former financial advisor to Manchester City, has warned the Premier League champions that they could face relegation if found guilty of the 115 charges of financial wrongdoing. Speaking to talkSPORT, as quoted by football.london, he said: “The scale is on a completely different level [to Everton and Forest].
“There can be no question that this will end in at least relegation – that’s no question, if those charges are proven. There’s a suggestion of conspiracy over effectively a 10-year period.”
Borson added: “If proven, this is super serious. Nobody would argue with that. City themselves in their submission – I promise you, because they’ve said it to CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] – will say this is an allegation of the most serious nature.
“I think they [City] will clear their name because I think a case of this nature has to have a level of cogent proof, which seems to me to be impossible to present to an independent commission. And furthermore, it seems highly unlikely that the conduct that is alleged has taken place over a 10-year period with the sorts of individuals who are involved in the club and in the companies involved.”
football.london says: If Manchester City were to be relegated then every Premier League club would fighting for the chance to not only poach Pep Guardiola but also any want-away players. It’s hard to imagine City being relegated. Maybe a transfer ban, a fine or a limit on spending for years to come.