Chelsea have officially resorted to desperate threats in the hopes of retaining the services of youth product and Bayern Munich transfer target, Callum Hudson-Odoi. According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea may report Bayern if they find any evidence that Bayern has illegally tampered with Odoi, his family, or his representatives.
The London club has conjured up an accusation of “tapping up” — illegally approaching a player to discuss a transfer— which seems to have emerged from sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić’s recent comments regarding Bayern’s interest in the English starlet. As the report notes, publicly endorsing a move is a violation of English Premier League rules, not FIFA rules. Despite the clear difference in regulations, the Blues are hoping to keep the promising winger in London.
This story is both ironic and hypocritical on so many levels. “Tapping up,” or tampering as non-English folk might call it, was thrust into the limelight the Summer of 2017, when Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool were forced to apologize to Southampton in the hopes of avoiding punishment for their illegal pursuit of Virgil Van Dijk, but Chelsea have a long and storied history of the practice.
The Blues are behind two of the most well-known cases of tampering in English football in their pursuit of Ashley Cole and Gael Kakuta. The latter’s transfer resulted in an 18-month transfer ban lasting until January 2011. But it doesn’t stop there! The Blues are facing a two-year transfer ban for illegal youth-team signings, which is rather funny given how rarely they actually give youth players — even supremely talented ones (ahem... *cough* Mo Salah *cough* Kevin De Bruyne) — a chance in the first team.
Finally, Chelsea actually violated Premier League rules just weeks ago when assistant coach Gianfranco Zola publicly commented on the club’s interest in Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson.
This claim is as hollow as it is bitter.
Sour grapes, I say!