May 29, 2012, 8:40 AM EDT
We told you about the news yesterday. Well, Eden Hazard actually told us about the news, even if some chose not to believe him. Now, thanks to the Guardian, we have some idea of how much Roman Abramovich will fork over to continue Chelsea’s revamp.
Europe’s champions are expected to give Lille just over $50 million for Ligue 1′s best player (that’s right in the middle of the range we set on Monday). Not a bad haul for LOSC. It’s probably more than the could have expected had they sold last year. Instead of selling, Lille got Hazard’s best season yet, another Champions League shot (should they win their preliminary round match up), and all for the price of Hazard’s wages.
The Belgian’s new wages are also expected to come in at a middle ground of sorts. Hazard’s set to take home $7.8 million per season after taxes, a figure which would sit near the mid-point of Manchester City and Manchester United’s offers.
Hows Manchester City supposed to react to that? You put your best foot forward and still lose Hazard to a team that finished five spots behind you in league and is offering around £40,ooo per week less (if my reading of British tax law is right). Apparently, it takes more than two good years to establish a continental reputation.
Overall, it’s a reasonable deal for Chelsea. The transfer fee isn’t cheap, but it would have been higher if Hazard hadn’t been so selective about his final destination. Player preferences deflated a lot of the demand from the market. The wages are high, but there’s no way around that.
John Terry, rumored to have a clause requiring him to be the club’s highest paid player, should also get a bit of a boost.
Agent Bruce Banner? Hulk details also reported
And speaking of boosts, Hulk looks set to get one, with The Guardian reporting Chelsea could pay as much as $47 million for the Porto attacker (though that deal’s still churning on the rumor mill). The Brazilian attacker is unlikely to earn anything close to Hazard’s wages. Still, the sale price is a significant outlay, and if it really comes in at only £2 million less than Hazard’s, it’s worth a raised eyebrow.
I’ll risk repeating myself by noting Hulk’s not as good as advertised, which is not his fault. His reputation seems to stem from people’s affinity for his name. If Hulk went by his birth name (Givanildo Vieira de Souza), he’d probably go for closer to $25 to $38 million.
The quoted fee is far from the most outrageous of all time, but the fact that the price seems driven by a big, green, fictional character makes Chelsea seem a bit silly.
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