All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the most recent developments on the Juan Mata to Manchester United transfer story.
One of the stories that triggered fervent speculation that there was an imminent deal that would take Juan Mata to Manchester United in exchange of £35m+ was the apparently notable absence of the Chelsea playmaker from Wednesday afternoon's training session at Cobham, Surrey.
However, according to Chelsea TV, the full roster apart from Fernando Torres attended training, as usual.
A £35m bid has been made, according to the BBC, but, as of yet, there has been no official announcement from either party to confirm. If successful, it will surpass the previous United record fee of £30.75m; the figure that convinced Tottenham Hotspur to part company with Dimitar Berbatov. Sky Sports differ on the sum, claiming a £40m offer was sent to Chelsea.
A hopeful for a prominent place in the Spain team at this summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Mata has been urged by his international team-mate to consider his options, particularly as he wants to play, often, something he does not always receive in West London.
Santi Cazorla is quoted by The Express to have said: 'If Mata doesn't play, he will want to leave Chelsea, that's obvious.'The London Evening Standard, meanwhile, claim the player has already confided his transfer plans to his family and friends - Mata wants to leave Chelsea.
Spain expert Guillem Balague told Sky Sports: 'The idea is that Mata, who Chelsea are happy to let go, goes to Old Trafford in this transfer window. I am under the impression that a deal will be reached because it benefits everybody.
'United need quality, Mata needs to get out of the situation he is in and it would reinforce United for their meetings with [title rivals] Manchester City and Arsenal, which is clever from Jose Mourinho.'
Diego Simeone, the manager of Altetico Madrid, meanwhile, told Deportes Cuatro TV that 'any price' paid for the permanent services of on loan Chelsea shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois would be money well spent.
'For me, any price for Courtois would be cheap,' he said. 'He is a young guy who has a huge future ahead of him and is on course to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. To secure a goalkeeper of his quality would be a big coup. It will not be easy. It depends what Courtois wants.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald