AS Monaco seem to have forgotten how the transfer system works after launching an amazing £35million bid to sign Jose Mourinho from Chelsea.
According to the Daily Mail, Monaco executive Alessandro Proto met Roman Abramovich in London in an audacious attempt to prise the Special One away from Stamford Bridge.
The Monaco owner – another Russian billionaire called Dmitry Rybolovlev – was willing to buy out Mourinho's contract to allow Abramovich to release him.
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It would have been a tempting offer for the Chelsea owner, especially as Mourinho's future in west London is already in serious doubt. Indeed, a number of reports claim two unconvincing performances against Dynamo Kiev and Stoke City this week will seal his exit.
Despite Chelsea's disastrous start to the season, if Mourinho was to leave Chelsea he would not be short of offers from other clubs. That is exactly why Monaco have chosen to steal a march.
But in a strong show of faith to his manager, Abramovich rejected the offer. But the oligarch is not completely against the idea of releasing Mourinho; he just wants Monaco to give him £71m instead.
Mourinho appears to have been completely absorbed by his siege mentality this season, refusing to blame his players, speak to the media or behave amicably when his team have lost.
It is reported that his dark mood has alienated several first-team members John Terry recently dismissed any suggestion of a dressing room revolt, but it is clear the creativity of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas has been slowly stifled by Mourinho's tactics and they may not have the motivation or the energy to reinvigorate their game.
Wednesday's crucial Champions League tie against Dynamo Kiev represents a perfect opportunity to get some confidence back. The Blues will be heavy favourites when the Ukranian side travel to Stamford Bridge.