Imagine the scene in the Chelsea transfer headquarters bunker over the last seven days:
First phonecall: 'Hello there, we'd like to buy Andy Carroll please...'
Second phonecall: 'Hello there, we'd like to buy Peter Crouch please...'
Third phonecall: 'Hello there, we'd like to buy Ashley Barnes please...'
Transfer team meeting: 'This isn't working out guys. I'm afraid I've got some bad news. It seems we're left with no other option, we're going to have to settle for Edin Dzeko.'
Yes, it would seem Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Edin Dzeko and his Roma teammate Emerson Palmieri for a combined £44m. Obviously their priority has been finding a striker to deputise for Alvaro Morata but, you know, 'when in Rome' and all that; they're going in for one guy and leaving with two.
Talks had reportedly dragged on because Roma wanted £57m but what's 13m between friends? It's now thought that once additional payment clauses are sorted out then Dzeko will be on his way to London. Chelsea are said to have offered Michy Batshuayi on loan as part of the deal but Roma are reportedly looking elsewhere for a Dzeko replacement. Mostly likely in Stoke-on-Trent.
Elswhere Manchester United are being linked with 18-year-old Lille midfielder, Boubakary Soumare, who has been dubbed the 'new Paul Pogba,' who was once dubbed 'the new Roy Keane.' Could we not at least wait until Pogba even turns 25 before branding people 'the new Paul Pogba'?
They're also obviously on the verge of the Alexis Sanchez signing, with Arsenal in turn closing in on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the human sweetener that is Henrikh Mkhitaryan.