Ancelotti makes plans for when FIFA inevitably retracts brave, if over the top, punishment.
The 22-year-old winger is out of contract at the end of the season and has rejected several offers of an extension, fuelling fears at Middlesbrough that he will seek to walk away next summer.
Chelsea would have to pay a transfer fee set by a tribunal because Johnson is under the age of 24, but that is the least of their problems. The club are banned from signing new players until January 2011 after being found guilty by Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber of inducing Gaël Kakuta, a teenage French winger, to breach his contract with Lens. Chelsea have been monitoring Johnson for some time because he fits their preferred profile as a young English player who can be secured relatively cheaply. (Times Online)
If Chelsea do indeed want to snap up Middlesbrough’s prize asset they will have to get in line as a queue has formed behind the England Under 21 international and it’s a long one. Obviously any talk of a Stamford Bridge signing is at this moment wishful thinking but I for one will not be surprised if the ban is lifted.
The Boro winger is a damn fine talent and one who had to wait his turn whilst Stewart Downing sauntered to the byline and attempted to put in a decent cross whilst looking over his shoulder hoping a scout would see him and take him away from the Riverside. I am firmly part of the camp that sees Downing as hugely overrated and would happily state that Johnson is a player with far more ability and a potentially brighter future than the crocked Aston Villa man.
As for any tribunal that decides on the value of the soon to be out of contract youngster, well isn’t it always a case of simply taking the two sides valuations and setting a fee that perfectly dissects the two. I would imagine somewhere in the region of £8m would do the trick and it would be a damn fine investment of Roman’s not so rapidly dwindling wealth.