The new Chelsea owners must learn from Jose Mourinho’s brave decision amid Paris Saint-Germain’s decision to sell Neymar in the upcoming transfer window. Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca, who all remain in contention to buy the west London club, face a temptation that the former Blues boss overcame in 2004.
Mourinho was handed a near-unlimited budget when he took charge at Stamford Bridge for the first time nearly 18 years ago. Roman Abramovich, who had recently bought Chelsea, offered the Portuguese boss the opportunity to sign Ronaldinho from Barcelona.
Instead, the 59-year-old wanted Didier Drogba and the rest was history. Though Ronaldinho went on to grow into one of the world’s greatest players, Drogba delivered Chelsea some of the club’s best moments upon his arrival from Marseille.
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“In 2004, Roman Abramovich told me he had money to bring Ronaldinho to Chelsea if I wanted to,” said Mourinho. “I said, ‘No, bring me Drogba. I said Ronaldinho has the skill and natural flair, but Drogba has the heart. Drogba has the skill. Drogba has the desire. I want him.”
Mourinho’s decision was vindicated, and the new Chelsea owners should look to invest as much faith in Thomas Tuchel as Abramovich did in the AS Roma boss following PSG’s latest Neymar decision. The French outfit are prepared to offload the winger at the end of the season as part of a rebuild at Les Parc des Princes, according to Sky Sports and Spanish outlet AS.
The report claims that PSG are prepared to take a loss on the world-record fee that they paid Barcelona in 2017. The 30-year-old could be sold for as little as £76million this summer, handing the Parisians an eye-watering £122m loss.
Although, the quoted fee is thought to be a benchmark sum that club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi will begin negotiations at. Therefore should multiple clubs throw their hats in the ring then the aforementioned price could be pushed higher.
Neymar has impressed in the French capital, directly contributing to 105 goals in 89 Ligue 1 appearances. He’s lifted 12 honours for PSG, though has failed to wrap blue, red and white ribbons around the Champions League.
The Brazil international sees his contract in Paris expire in June 2025. But, amid the speculation regarding his future, Neymar’s declared he will be staying at PSG despite growing uncertainty about his future.
“I still have a contract with Paris Saint-Germain,” he told ESPN Argentina “I’m here for three more years, so stop [booing] or you’ll need more air.”