Chelsea left back Emerson Palmieri has been the subject of rumours linking him with a move away from the club for some time now.
He’s battled for his position this season, but ultimately after starting brightly and picking up an injury in the autumn, he was never able to convince new manager Frank Lampard that he was starting quality.
So it’s no surprise to see the rumours gathering pace, and today we saw transfer insider Nicolo Schira tweeting that there is interest from both Juventus and Napoli in taking the former Roma player back to Serie A.
#Juventus and #Napoli are interested in signing #EmersonPalmieri. His agent is in talks with them. #Chelsea ask €25-30M to sell him. #Lampard wants to replace Emerson with one between #Chilwell (Leicester) and #Telles (Porto). #transfers #CFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) April 9, 2020
We can believe that – despite his so-so spell here he’s kept his place as an Italy regular, and showed enough potential in his time on the peninsula to convince scouts there he’s got the quality they’re looking for.
But the fee Chelsea apparently are asking for €25-30m, looks incredibly ambitious.
We signed Emerson in January 2018 for €20m, plus €9m in bonuses. We can’t say for sure what they were, but he’s presumably reached a few of them given we made the Champions League places, and won the Europa League and the FA Cup in that time.
He’s played a decent amount, recovering from a bad injury suffered 9 months before his arrival to end up playing 52 games for us in his two years in West London.
Let’s say he cost Chelsea €25m. Since then he’s aged 2 and a half years, hasn’t been massively impressive on the pitch, and has run down over half of his contract, which finishes in 2022.
So quite why the club think they will get more than they paid for him given all that – and the global financial crisis which is hitting Italy harder than anywhere else right now – is unclear.
We can well believe that Napoli and Juve think they can get him playing at a higher level – we’ve seen flashes of it in England but never regularly enough – and we can certainly see these kinds of figures ending up as good value should he end up playing to his best back in Italy.
But those two teams are generally such shrewd operators in the market, it’s hard to not see them forcing the fee down significantly from the numbers Schira is putting on the table.
Of course, just as when we bought him, there will be bonuses involved. A €15m fee with significant upside should he win trophies and play well looks like a solid compromise. But €30m up front looks like wishful thinking on the part of Chelsea.