One year ago, Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea after falling way too close to the relegation places, and the defending champions’ future looked pretty bleak as the festive period was not high on the list of priorities of players and fans alike.
Roll forward 12 months things could hardly be better. The Blues sit six points clear at the top of the Premier League with new manager Antonio Conte having adjusted to life in England remarkably well.
Thoughts have now turned to how Conte can add to the quality already at Stamford Bridge with The Sun claiming one of their top targets is being priced out of a move to Chelsea.
James Rodriguez is deemed to be surplus to requirements under coach Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid with the Colombian international claiming he could leave the new Super Cup holders next month.
However the London club feel the reported £60 million valuation on Rodriguez is far too much and would not be willing to hand over such a figure despite being interested in the 25 year old.
The former Monaco player is open to the idea of reigniting his career away from the Bernabeu and added fuel to the fire by recently stating as much.
“I can’t promise I will stay at Real Madrid. I have offers and seven days to think [about them].”
With Oscar rumoured to be heading for a shock move to China to sign for Shanghai SIPG for a reported £60million, Chelsea will have to replace him in the squad and will have the funds to do so.
Should Rodriguez become available Chelsea will no doubt face competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, with other European clubs also watching the situation closely.
Perhaps a new challenge can spark a return to the form that saw Rodriguez star for Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena