Reports are gathering that Chelsea are ready to sell another of their big stars. This time it’s their Brazilian midfielder Oscar – a target for both Paris St Germain and Juventus.
This time six months ago, this would have been simply laughable. Jose Mourinho was praising Oscar to the skies, saying he was undroppable in the number 10 role behind the strikers. So much so, in fact, that he was indirectly responsible for the sale of Mata to Manchester United, after the Spaniard was deemed surplus to requirements.
Now, it’s more believable. Oscar’s form dropped off noticeably in the second half of last season – to such an extent that he found himself regularly on the bench. Willian was more than often preferred to him as a starter, and the manager voiced suspicions that Oscar was holding himself back for the World Cup.
Some analysts commented that the purchase of Cesc Fabregas was a sign that Oscar could now go the way of Mata. However, I believe this was a misreading of where Fabregas will play. It is unlikely that the Spaniard will play directly behind the striker, as Oscar usually does, but that he will hav e deeper role. That still leaves plenty of space ahead of him for Oscar to play in, and may free him up to make more dangerous runs into the penalty area.
However, it is possible that if a high enough offer came in, Chelsea would be willing to accept it. The newspapers suggest he could leave for as little as £40million, but this seems unlikely. Chelsea know his worth and are unlikely to let him go for anything under £50million or even £60 million, especially if PSG are bidding. The Parisian club has been trying to secure the services of either Oscar or Eden Hazard for some time now – and appears to have given up, for the moment at least, on the near-impossible task of prising the Belgian away from Stamford Bridge.
The source for these stories does not seem to be one with a detailed inside knowledge of Chelsea’s affairs – unlike the reporter who broke the Mata and Luiz stories – and given that, it may well be that these rumours are being floated by PSG contacts, or even by Oscar’s representatives. Either way, until the stories start emerging from Chelsea-related sources, this is a suggestion that is unlikely to fly.
Oscar’s performances so far in the World Cup have been encouraging. He looks more like the player who started 2013/14 in such fine form. If he can return to Chelsea and maintain those sort of displays, Chelsea’s valuation of him may well increase to the point where it exceeds even PSG’s ability to pay.
It also might encourage Jose Mourinho to play him more, which could well put these transfer stories to bed for good. Or at least until the next transfer window.