As the Todd Boehly era begins at Chelsea, it is very much the end of another one as Marina Granovskaia departs as one of the club’s key directors.
Granovskaia was fundamental to Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea, overseeing transfers and player contracts – but with Boehly’s takeover of the club now complete, the new chairman will take on a major role as Granovskaia exits. While managers, scouts and the board all had varying levels of influence during Abramovich’s reign, Granovskaia built a fearsome reputation for negotiating strong deals regardless of whether players were coming or going, and commands the respect of the Chelsea fanbase for her important role during the club’s glory days.
Though Granovskaia drove a hard bargain over signings, her reliability in securing impressive fees for departing squad members cannot be understated either. So, does £32million N’Golo Kante rank as the best bit of business Granovskaia secured for Chelsea? Or maybe signing Cesc Fabregas for £30million?
Join the debate: What was Marina Granovskaia’s top Chelsea deal?
How about landing Thiago Silva on a free, with the Brazilian leading Chelsea to Champions League glory that same season? Edouard Mendy was another canny deal, and was named The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper in 2021 – all for a princely sum of £22million. Antonio Rudiger joined from AS Roma for £31.5million and won it all, but does losing him on a free affect that?
Or perhaps the trio of David Luiz deals – buying him for £22million, selling him to PSG for over double that three years later… and then buying him back for £31million for a title-winning season – ranks as her most audacious piece of business? Diego Costa can’t be forgotten either, with his all-action displays the perfect fit for the Blues’ title-winning sides.
As for other Granovskaia’s sales, she convinced Atletico Madrid to take Alvaro Morata on loan before paying the same £58million fee Chelsea sunk into the striker. She also sold Oscar to Shanghai SPIG for £60million – a club record at the time for a player who wasn’t an automatic starter – as well as securing a huge profit on Costa by selling him back to Atletico when it was clear he didn’t want to be in west London any more.
And we can’t forget the £100million-plus Chelsea pocketed from selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid – a deal which has looked better with every passing week the Belgian has been out injured for Los Blancos. So, whether it’s a signing or a sale, who do you think ranks as the best bit of business Granovskaia has done for Chelsea?
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