Blues forced to ditch Real deals
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The West London outfit had agreed a deal to sign Cameroon defender Geremi on a permanent basis while taking Brazilian midfielder Flavio Conceicao on a season long loan, but they have been forced to scrap the moves.
Geremi, who impressed for Cameroon at the World Cup, would have cost in the region of £7 million, but it seems Chelsea's failure to qualify for the Champions League has scuppered any plans for any major big-money signings.
"It was all fixed with Real, but the club (Chelsea) rang me and said that we would have to pull out of the deal for these two lads because we could not afford it," Ranieri told Spanish daily Marca.
"I am very sorry about it, but we are going through a very difficult period in football and Chelsea can't afford to spend a penny at the moment.
It is the second time in a year Chelsea have been frustrated in a move for Geremi having failed to land him last season.
The news will be a blow to Ranieri as he looked to build on the performance of last season for this coming campaign by bringing in some new faces to add to his squad.
It may lead to some players leaving Stamford Bridge so as to raise some revenue for any future signings and will increase the pressure on Ranieri to bring success to the club.