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Chelsea clear-out continues


Carvalho rejoins his FC Porto and Chelsea mentor Jose Mourinho

Chelsea have tonight announced that Real Madrid will sign Ricardo Carvalho in a move that reunites the defender with his former Chelsea and FC Porto boss Jose Mourinho.

The clubs have announced a deal is in place, thought to be worth around €8 million, for the Spanish giants to sign Carvalho on a two-year deal. It is the latest big name departure from Stamford Bridge, following the exits of Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti and Deco. What it also shows is that Chelsea are fast becoming a team with financial constraints. Not in the same league as Portsmouth, granted, but the clear out of long-term players shows a need to cut the wage bill to afford the incoming players such as Ramires whose signing should be finalised soon, while Carlo Ancelotti will also attempt to bring a new central defender to the club.

The deal is an excellent move for Real Madrid, bringing a classy, composed defender to a club who have traditionally forgone the defensive side of their game in favour of attack. With Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain and more, Real have more than enough strength at the back, but are in dire need of a strong centre back like Carvalho to command the defence. Carvalho will now join the likes of Mourinho, Pepe and Ronaldo as fellow Portugese at the La Liga club as they look to wrestle the title from Barcelona.

Ancelotti will be looking to replace the Portugese defender

But what about Chelsea? This could be a crucial change in their squad for the upcoming season. Carvalho had his injury problems in recent years but there is no doubting the fact that Terry and Carvalho were always the first choice pairing at centre back. In fact playing alongside Alex, Terry had his worst season for years last year. While Carvalho at 32 may be past his best, Chelsea fans will be praying that Ancelotti is bringing in new blood, which he most likely will.

Terry struggled without Carvalho last year

There is also no saying how losing big personalities who have been at the club a long time will affect the Chelsea team and morale. Cole, Ballack, Carvalho, these were all players who had been at the club a while, won plenty of trophies and were a throwback to the dominant Mourinho era. Tonight, the Chelsea squad is looking fairly old, and dare we say it a little threadbare? When Liverpool lost Sami Hyypia the summer after their best ever Premiership run it hurt them bad. Not only was he a presence as a footballer but also off it, ditto Man Utd losing Neville to injury and failing to wrestle the title from Chelsea since.

What is clear though is that comparing te squads now, the title race is looking more even than it has in history. Man Utd and Man City fans are smiling tonight at the departure of a natural winner for Chelsea. His replacement has big boots to fill.

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