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Former Chelsea stalwart to join Falcao at AS Monaco on a free

As another Chelsea connection arrives in the principality we look at the comparisons between the two clubs.

The parallels between the new regime at AS Monaco and that of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea are plainly obvious.

Two teams in rich and affluent areas that have underachieved for many a year; taken over by a wealthy Russian businessman.

Both owners passionate football fans with a will to succeed and they even share managers in Italian supremo Claudio Ranieri.

But Ranieri looks set to get more of a chance under Dmitry Rybolovlev then he ever did under the ownership of Abramovich.

After steering the Monegasque to Ligue 2 triumph he will now expect to have the chance at guiding his team into a battle with Paris Saint-Germain; for complete dominance of French football.

Chelsea did much the same by spending big on new players. Monaco have followed suit with Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and very soon Radamel Falcao set to join the ranks at the Stade Louis II.

Call it what you want; greed, ambition, fun; but these players are more than willing to play football in the tax-haven principality for some reason.

Now another former Chelsea connection has joined the ranks; one former Stamford Bridge stalwart Ranieri never had the pleasure to work with; Ricardo Carvalho.

Through the Jose Mourinho golden years the Portuguese international formed a remarkable relationship with John Terry at the heart of The Blues defence; and while JT often got the plaudits I always personally believed Carvalho was the better player of the two; before injury struck.

Age has started to catch up with the 35-year-old and that has been demonstrated by his lack of football this season and last; just 28 games in that time period.

But he is now set to sign a one-year-deal with Monaco as Ranieri looks not only for superstar class but experienced guile to help his team in their massively ambitious project.

This could very well be his last season as a pro and he would love to go out in a flurry of glory; if Ranieri can mould this new team of stars into a match-winning outfit then who knows?

But what continues to be apparent is the evident parallels with the rise of Chelsea under their very own Russian billionaire. While Abramovich may be 13 places above his Monegasque rival in the Forbes Billionaire Rich List; the French League should be a far easier nut to crack than the Premier League.

If we weren’t taking Monaco seriously a fortnight ago; we should be now.

Can Monaco challenge PSG for the title next season?

image: © Jan S0L0

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