Jose Mourinho just finished his pre-Derby County press conference, and answered a few questions about the latest transfer rumors surrounding the club. Here's what he said when asked about Kevin De Bruyne:
"This is the period for agents to be famous. We know Kevin didn't adapt very well to the difficult life a Chelsea player has, which is to pay a big price to play. They have to give a lot, to work a lot, and to accept competitiveness. This is the first time he came to a big club with big competition."
"He is a fantastic player with fantastic potential. I don't want him to leave but we have a couple of contacts made by other clubs. But, if people think they can get our good players on sale, the sales finished in London yesterday."
We all know that Mourinho likes to send messages to his players through the media, and this sounds like the boss is doing just that in the case of De Bruyne. While none of us are really privy to what's going on in training and in discussions with De Bruyne, Jose is clearly pointing out that De Bruyne isn't doing enough to earn minutes over Willian, Juan Mata, Andre Schurrle, Oscar, or Eden Hazard.
Mourinho confirmed that several clubs have interest, and hinted that Chelsea would be willing to let him go as long as their valuation of the player is met. He also indicated that De bruyne will not be cheap, pretty much confirming what common sense has been telling us all along.
Up next, we had a question about Gonzalo Higuain. Here's what the boss said when asked if we had made a bid:
"No. No bid. No. He’s a player that I know we cannot get. He’s a player that moved from Real to Napoli six months ago. He’s doing very well, he’s adapting very well to Italy. Napoli is a club that normally doesn’t sell."
"In the last years, they sold one player per year, when they were feeling it was not possible to keep Lavezzi and Cavani, but they don’t sell. They want to win the Scudetto. I think now in the Europa League they want to win that, so I don’t believe they are interested in selling Higuain. So why should we be interested in buying something that is impossible to come?"
So no Higuain, but will we be buying a striker at all?
"No. A striker: 100 percent no. It is not a priority, is not an option. We have three. This squad is good enough for my first season, and for the objectives of the first season and to prepare the next season, so we are happy with the squad we have."
"If we can improve the squad to prepare the next season, we will do that, but we know what we have. We know players that are in performance stability, players that in performance development. We know where we are, we know what we need for the future, and we are preparing for the future but competing in the present. We are favourites for nothing -- we just want to be favourites for the next game -- and as I was saying at Southampton, the market is open, but for us, almost closed."
That sounds pretty definitive, and sort of pours cold water on the idea that Chelsea will be making major moves up front during the January window. He doesn't rule out a move for players in other positions of need, but insists that we'll be carrying on with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o, and Demba Ba for the rest of the season.
If I had to guess, I'd put good money on the idea that Mourinho's number one target is still Manchester United's Wayne Rooney. Given that the player will be entering the final year of his deal this summer, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see us wait until the season ends and then make a renewed push for the Englishman over the summer. If true, Mourinho's claims about not buying a striker in January would make sense, especially with Romelu Lukaku also returning to Chelsea in a few months.
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- Napoli reportedly rejected Chelsea's £50 million pound offer for Gonzalo Higuain
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