Chelsea were quick to quash rumours of Robben moving to Real Madrid, but Ramon Calderon has shown himself to be a master tactician so far and it is almost certain that Robben, without Chelsea’s knowledge, has been in contact with Calderon.
Chelsea’s dominance in the English Premiership and their strong showing in Europe over the last 3 years have improved their image, but nothing has convinced players more to come to Chelsea than the deadly combination of Mourinho’s leadership and Abramovich’s money.
But Chelsea are still not at the top of the world, and as they have found with Barca’s interest in Lampard and Crespo’s desire to play for Milan (not to mention the problems Drogba and Gallas have had), there are still some clubs that can match Chelsea in financial muscle and staying power.
Real Madrid is one of them. Calderon’s election campaign promise of bringing in Capello, Kaka, Cesc Fabregas and Arjen Robben was dismissed as rumour mill grist at the time, but if Capello, as expected, turns up at the Bernabeau as manager, everything will change very quickly. Cesc’s agent has already confirmed that talks had taken place between Calderon’s team and him (and possibly Fabregas as well), and Robben and Kaka might be next on Marca’s list of revelations.
Calderon is betting on youth to revive Real Madrid, and Robben, despite the denials of Chelsea, is very much in his plans
Rumours of Robben being unsettled at Chelsea are completely unfounded. On the contrary, despite criticism of his diving, Robben has gelled quite well into the Chelsea lineup and along with Joe Cole gives considerble quality on the flanks. He’s also well liked by the fans and by Mourinho, not to mention his teammates.
All these things point to Chelsea and Robben being on excellent terms, and with Robben being happy at Chelsea.
But Robben is also young, and his history has proven him to be a ambitious player who will go for the big money, fame and star status that Madrid will offer.
Arjen Robben Will Not Leave Chelsea…Unless…
Madrid start their galactico project all over again and offer Robben the star status that he craves.
I doubt that Madrid will be able to woo Robben on the basis of success alone. Chelsea have a better chance of winning the Champions League next season than any other team (except maybe Barca and Milan, with whom they are equal), and he will not risk that just yet. He’s young, Madrid are not going anywhere and he wants to win trophies. If Robben is looking only for wins, all signs lead to Chelsea.
Money and fame will be the main issues. Chelsea have the financial muscle to match whatever Calderon offers but whether they would choose to be held ransom to such an approach is another discussion altogether. Under Kenyon, Chelsea have shown a strong desire to be financially prudent (as much as a club that signs 80 million worth of players every season can be financially prudent, that is) and they are unlikely to fall to any ransom demands.
Mourinho’s and Chelsea’s reaction to Gallas wanting to move away was telling – despite publicly saying that Gallas would be forced to complete his contract if necessary, behind the scenes Gallas is being cajoled and prodded into signing a new deal. If that does not go through, Chelsea do not want to see one of their best defenders walking out on a Bosman next year and will surely offload him.
The same applies to Robben.
What? Robben’s not as unsettled as Gallas?
That’s where Calderon comes in.[tags]Chelsea, Arjen Robben, Real Madrid[/tags]