Today’s Daily Express reports that Premier League champions Chelsea are weighing up a £2m move for QPR keeper Robert Green, while sister paper the Star takes a slightly different view, suggesting Jose Mourinho will move for Norwich’s John Ruddy.
Confused? You should be, but Richard Desmond’s playthings are at least in unison on the Blues buying an English stopper to replace Petr Cech as Thibaut Courtois’ understudy this summer.
Whether they’ll get either is another matter; 35-year-old Green has played at least 16 games per season for the past 14 league campaigns, and might not be ready for semi-retirement on the Stamford Bridge home bench.
By the same token, the Canaries keeper may leave Carrow Road this summer if his side aren’t promoted (Norwich are 6/4 second favourites to win the Championship playoffs), but 28-year-old Ruddy will surely expect another few years as a number one before accepting second-choice status.
They’ll also cost a fortune in fees and wages, which would likely prove a complete waste judging by past Chelsea goalkeeping understudies under the Special One.
Even Carlo Cudicini, who was established in west London prior to Mourinho’s initial arrival 11 years ago, could only manage 11 starts during the 2004/05 campaign, and just three in the Premier League, with Cech turning out for 35 top-flight matches.
This pattern continued during Mourinho’s subsequent two full terms, prior to his departure from Chelsea in 2007, and during his return season last year, when Cech started 34 Premier League matches.
With that in mind, Green and Ruddy would be odd choices for the Chelsea number 13 jersey, but if they’re determined to pick up a formerly-capped England keeper with a little life left in his legs, they could do worse than Wigan’s Scott Carson.
The former Leeds, Liverpool and West Brom goalie is still only 29-years-old, yet has made around 300 appearances at senior level since making his Premier League debut for the Whites in 2004.
With the Latics dropping into League One after a poisonous Championship campaign which saw them lose two managers, a chairman, and their good name following a racism row, Carson wouldn’t take much persuading to jump ship for a walk on part with England’s champions.
The Cumbrian didn’t work out at Liverpool, but can boast of over 120 Premier League showings during loan spells with Charlton and Aston Villa, plus his time under England coach Roy Hodgson at the Hawthorns.
Stranger things have happened, and with Chelsea not, strictly speaking, desperate for fresh blood in goal, Carson could be the answer.