After the no-news being reported as news, the past twenty-four hours or so have seen a few articles surfacing that suggest a deal that would see John Terry actually sign for us may not be too wide of the mark.
There was a report in The Telegraph that suggest Terry may be disenchanted with Chelsea having not landing a marquee name in the transfer market so far, and that he was seeking 'clear the air' talks with Roman Abramovich.
Latterly, there were two reports that popped up late Saturday evening that indicated that despite earlier protestations, Chelsea may actually be considering an increased bid on the premise that (and Brian Reade summarises amusingly) that their record without Terry is no way different to with him in the side, at aged twenty-nine with a 'dodgy back' his best may be behind him and crucially, a transfee fee in excess of £30 million and not having to pay Terry an increase on his wages would be welcome.
Patrick Collins in The Mail backs this up:
The onus, it seems, is now on Chelsea to recognise their skipper's 'loyalty' if he should decide to stay. So they either pass up the chance of collecting £30m or risk distorting the stratospheric salary scale at Stamford Bridge. Naturally, Terry is saying nothing, as befits a man who holds all the cards.
Duncan Castles in The Times goes even further, suggesting moves could already be afoot in terms of negotiations:
For his part, Terry has asked football dealmaker Chris Nathaniel to help negotiate with City. Nathaniel already represents Robinho, the club’s current best-paid player, and Micah Richards. He has previously secured Terry a lucrative book deal, works extensively with his England teammate Rio Ferdinand, and last season fronted a Nigerian takeover bid for Newcastle United.
City remain confident that Terry will be their player before the new Premier League season begins. The England captain spent part of a recent holiday in Dubai with City manager Mark Hughes, and Hughes believes that Terry is unhappy with Chelsea’s failure to add top-class players to their squad and a lack of consultation over Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment.
It does seem unfathomable to think that Chelsea would consider selling Terry, their captain, England's captain, talismanic figure and club lynchpin. Yet perhaps there is a growing sense that along with Terry's silence, such a move may not be the unbelievable thought it may have been.
It would be some coup to pull this off, and the marquee and 'statement' signing (with apologies to Robinho) that ownership (not to mention Garry Cook have craved). Yet if Chelsea are prepared to let Terry go, should this ring any alarm bells given that the very top sides do not let their very top players leave at their peak and would possibly be a case of Caveat Emptor.
Interesting given the public announcement that we had shut the door on a possible deal for Samuel Eto'o, the club have left the suggestion of a further bid for Terry well and truly open. As I've said all along, one short statement from Terry would kill this stone dead. The longer the silence continues, the more the story gathers momentum.
The News of The World are suggesting that the 'crisis talks' between Terry and Abramovich resulted in Terry requesting the opportunity to speak to us.