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Transfer Truth: The Truth on El Shaarawy to Chelsea

Posted on Jul 3rd, 2013 by Amrit Nagi

Today's Chelsea rumour comes courtesy of outstanding 20 year old AC Milan winger El Shaarawy, who apparently could be on his way to Stamford Bridge for a fee of around £25m.

El Shaarawy: Transfer Truth: 20%
With Jose Mourinho back at his desk for less than 2 days the rumours of who he might try to sign are hotting up again and this time the link being made in numerous news papers is with El Shaarawy who scored 16 goals and assisted 6 times in 37 appearances from the wing last season. At just 20 he's far from his peak and could well turn out to be one of the greats of the game if he continues to improve.

This story appears to have originally come out of Italy and then been reported by numerous sources in the UK starting with The Express, none of which cary any solid evidence.

There is nothing in the way of quotes, or confirmations but that hasn't stopped the story from gathering pace, along with the notion that Torres could be used as a makeweight in the deal. Again there is nothing solid to suggest this is a fact other than the assumption that Torres is on his way out of Chelsea and could therefore be used as a bargaining chip in a deal for any player who can even remotely be linked with Chelsea. The only thing we could find was a comment reported on Goal.com from a former AC Milan player Zvonimir Boban:

El Shaarawy needs to improve a lot. He is too predictable at the moment. Everybody knows what's going to happen when he cuts inside. I get the idea that Milan see him as a good player, but nothing more than that. I get the feeling that they are already considering selling him. [Adriano] Galliani has already said that he's not unsellable, so I think they will sell him if the price is right.

Boban is known for being the kind of reporter that doesn't pull his punches and is highly opinionated so we're not sure these comments can be viewed as anything other than speculative but they do provide food for thought on how available El Shaarawy might be, and at what sort of price.

Do Chelsea Need El Shaarawy
There is no doubt that El Shaarawy would be a massive benefit to any team, but with 5 years remaining on his contract and the kind of money being thrown around right now AC Milan are likely to command a higher fee for his services than the reported £25m. That makes us question any story suggesting Chelsea are ready to bid this much, but it could provide a tempting opening gambit for Milan if it were true, which we do not believe it is.

Chelsea's priority right now is going to be a center forward, and whilst El Shaarawy can play in that position his main role is as a left winger. Given that Chelsea already have multiple highly skilled players in that position and have only recently signed a similar player in Shurrle, we can't see that there would be any logic in signing El Shaarawy unless Mourinho was seriously considering the ridiculous notion of selling Juan Mata or if Chelsea are planning to spend £30m+ on at least two more occasions before the season starts.

Our Truth-o-meter
There is little solid substance to the stories that have come out today linking El Shaarawy to Chelsea and we believe that with 5 years on his contract he is likely to command an astronomical fee. The player has not recently expressed a desire to leave either so we're giving this one a truth rating of just 20%. Right now, it's little more than football fiction.

Likeliness of Signing: 10%
Fit at Club: 75%

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