There have been rumours in the media lately of Chelsea’s interest in signing Spanish and Barcelona’s centre back Gerard Pique. One would have dismissed those speculations with a wave of the finger considering Jose Mourinho’s altercations and fights with Barcelona players and managers during his three years stay at rivals Real Madrid. But it seems the player link is gathering more momentum with latest report being that Jose has asked Pique’s former Barce team mate and fellow Spanish Cesc Fabregas to help persuade the towering defender to join the Blues after it emerged Manchester United and Pellegrini’s Manchester City are also interested in the player.
Pique joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has become an important member of the team during the most successful years of the club under manager Pep Guardiola.
He has however, come under severe criticisms in recent weeks especially for his performance against rivals Real Madrid in their 3-1 loss a fortnight ago. The player was caught ball-watching on a number of occasions and has seemed to have fallen out of favour with new manger Luis Enrique.
The 27-year-old has subsequently been dropped to the bench in Barca’s two consecutive games against Celta Vigo and Ajax with the coach preferring the pairing of Javier Mecherano and any of Jeremy Mathieu or Marc Bartra at the heart of Barce’s defence.
His recent omission from actions has further raised fears the player could be set to quit the Catalunyan club. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are said to be keeping tab on the player but Mourinho will look to steal a march on his rivals by using Fabregas to persuade the defender to join Chelsea.
Fabregas is a close friend of Pique right from their days together at the famous Le Masia academy of Barcelona and also in the national team. Mourinho could also use the prospect of playing alongside Spanish team mates Ceasar Azpilicueta, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas to lure the 27-year-old to Chelsea.
Chelsea are already looking for a perfect replacement for captain and club legend John Terry who could retire from football in no distant future. Chelsea still have in their ranks young defenders like Kurt Zouma, Andres Christensen, Kenneth Omerua(on loan at Middlesbrough). Though all are still considered young and relatively inexperienced at high level football hence, Mourinho will want a player who has well enough experience to replace John Terry while the youngsters continue to horn their skills.
Pique is an intelligent and experienced player who at 27, has won all there is to win in football both at club level (with Barcelona) and at national level with Spain. He will bring his wealth of experience to any backline after being so efficient for Barcelona in so many years.
The prospect of moving abroad and playing at the highest level in the premier league once again, after his initial spell at Manchester United was relatively unsuccessful could be a huge attraction.
Mourinho will look to use the influences of the Spanish players around him to persuade the player to join his club rather than his rivals.