Friday, June 18, 2021
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The latest football news from 90 Minutes Online

Who is the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield writing for?


A mazeWho the cuss is the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield writing for? The golden rules of writing for online readers are: know who’s reading; write how they speak; and keep it short.


So who’s reading the Guardian’s online football coverage nowadays? It seems the answer is people who say “entered into negotiations” over “the purchase” of an “established talent”.

There’s more. José Mourinho hasn’t said he’s satisfied with his squad; he’s “declared his satisfaction” with it. The club haven’t made the move for Cuadrado because Roma are interested in buying Mohamed Salah; “the move is born of Roma’s increased desire to secure Salah”.

And more. Chelsea aren’t bringing the Cuadrado signing forward in case they’re left short by selling Schürrle and Salah;”They have moved... to sound out Fiorentina over the possibility of bringing the deal forward by six months in the acceptance that a sale of Salah or Schürrle would necessitate the immediate purchase of a replacement.”

Let that one sink in: “...necessitate the immediate purchase of a replacement.” Words fail me - as I wish they would fail Fifield.

It goes on and on. Players don’t prove their ability, they “confirm credentials”. Clubs don’t become interested, their interest “crystallises”. Finally, and my favourite, there aren’t a number of clubs interested in a player, the player has “numerous suitors”.

Drivel. How - how on Earth - do these people get to the top of this profession?

So, here’s a plain English version of Fifield’s article. It’s 48% shorter and written in a language you might understand...

Chelsea want £27m Cuadrado before window shuts if wingers leave

Chelsea want to bring their £27m summer deal for Fiorentina’s 26-year-old Colombia international Juan Cuadrado forward to this month’s transfer window.

Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund are interested in taking the Germany international Andre Schürrle back to the Bundesliga and Mohamed Salah is wanted by Serie A chasers Roma.

If either player leaves west London before the window shuts on 2nd February, the Premier League leaders would be left short in wide areas after they loaned Marko Marin to Belgian side Anderlecht until the end of the season. So José Mourinho is trying to bring forward a deal he was hoping to complete this summer.

Cuadrado joined Fiorentina from Udinese in 2013 for £17.6m and is under contract until 2019. Despite an impressive World Cup 2014 in Brazil - where he starred alongside James Rodriguez - the quick and powerful winger has struggled for consistency in Florence.

But Chelsea remain interested and decided to move once Roma became serious about taking Salah on an initial 6-month deal. Salah has made little impact at Chelsea since joining from Basel in 2014 and the club are willing to let him go on loan with a view to a £12m permanent move.

Schürrle’s position is less clear. He’s shown flashes of potential since joining for £18m from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013. But a £23m bid from Wolfsburg might tempt Mourinho into selling. The player might actually prefer a move to Bundesliga strugglers Dortmund but they’re unlikely to make a bid until the summer when questions over Marco Reus’s future are answered.

If neither player leaves in the next 12 days, Chelsea will stick to their original plan of signing Cuadrado during the summer transfer window.

Mourinho is also keen on Marco Reus but - with plenty of competition for his signature - Cuadrado seems a more realistic target.


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