The latest international break started with Petr Cech confirming that he won’t stick around for another season as Thibaut Courtois’ understudy at Chelsea, comments that seemingly got Arsenal and Liverpool excited.
However, with plenty of overseas interest anticipated, the expectation was that the Blues would resist selling him to a Premier League rival, but the Daily Mirror have since reported that they will let him pick his next employers out of respect for his 11 years of sterling service.
Cech is 7/1 to be at Liverpool by September 1st and, with new bwin.com customers eligible for a £30 bet bonus, successfully staking it on that transfer taking place would proffer a £210 reward.
Chelsea’s alleged willingness to risk strengthening a prospective 2015/16 title adversary might appear dangerous, yet Roman Abramovich’s advisors can point to at least four prior examples of such a policy working out wonderfully for them:
Lassana Diarra (Arsenal)
Nine Premier League starts in two seasons wasn’t a ratio that appealed to the ambitious midfielder, and Chelsea felt comfortable enough selling him to Arsenal in 2007.
The Frenchman failed to force his way in at the Emirates too, resulting in a transfer to Portsmouth less than five months later.
Wayne Bridge (Manchester City)
Chelsea perhaps didn’t realise the threat that Man City would soon pose when they sold them Shaun Wright-Phillips in the summer of 2008, days before Sheikh Mansour made global headlines with his takeover, but they were aware of the Citizens’ power when flogging them Bridge a few months on.
It worked out well though: they lightened their wage bill while the left back became a burden to the Citzens’, barely featuring in the final three years of his four-and-a-half-year deal before leaving for nothing.
Additionally, imagine how much trickier that whole John Terry saga would have been for the west Londoners if Bridge was still on their books when everything went public a year later.
Joe Cole (Liverpool)
The Blues didn’t have any say in Cole joining Liverpool in 2010 because he was a free agent, yet there is no doubt that it worked out better for them than their former player of the year.
Cole finished sixth in his first campaign at Anfield, was packed off for Lille on loan in the second and barely played in the third before being handed to West Ham for free halfway through. They later got rid of him, leading to his current injury-littered spell at Aston Villa.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Studger has been more successful post-Stamford Bridge than the others on this list, but not to the detriment of Chelsea. They have faced the Reds six times since without losing; he only scored in the first and hasn’t started any of the five since.
While the England international netted at a fine rate for the first 18 months after his January 2013 move, any lingering Chelsea regret has been cooled by him being fit enough to start just seven league games this term.