If Tottenham Hotspur did sell Steven Caulker to Cardiff City on the presumption they were about to sign Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, they might now be nervously scrambling to complete a deal for the Romania after Steaua owner Gigi Becali blocked the deal from his prison cell.
Given the problems Spurs are having, and that Chiriches price-tag is now established at around £6.9million, should Chelsea renew their interest in the defender?
The Blues have been linked with Chiriches several times in the past few months, and had the opportunity to see him in person when they played Steaua in the Europa League, when the defender scored at Stamford Bridge.
Renowned for his ability on the ball as much as his defending, Chiriches is an exciting young player in the mould of David Luiz, able to act as a deep-lying playmaker and carry the ball from the back.
Chelsea have maintained they will not sell Luiz this summer amid rumours that both Bayern Munich and Barcelona were interested in signing the Brazilian. Bayern Munich have recently indicated they will not bid for Luiz, but if Chelsea had a young replacement lined up, would they be tempted by a bid of £25-30million from Barcelona?
Clearly Chiriches is not at the same standard as the Brazilian yet, but Chelsea have John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic on the books already, and the Romanian could develop at Stamford Bridge as a natural replacement for Luiz.
As well as his ability on the ball Chiriches is strong defensively, and he was excellent in Steaua’s 1-0 win over Chelsea last season, although his attacking style can leave gaps at the back at times.
Chelsea would have to move quickly, with reports suggesting Spurs will try and smooth over any hitches with Steaua as quickly as possible, but the Blues should consider a move for Chiriches this summer, as the 23-year-old could prove to be an excellent bargain buy for a Premier League side.
image: © Crystian Cruz