Following the sale of Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his delight with his current squad heading into the new season. Yet the Premier League outfit has been strongly linked with a transfer for Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.
Lukaku’s move to Everton on Wednesday for a reported fee of £28 million, combined with the sales of David Luiz, Demba Ba and Patrick van Aanholt, means that Chelsea have actually made a profit on their transfer dealings this summer, despite signing Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba. And Mourinho explained he is happy, not just with the makeup of his squad, but with the speed in which it has come together ahead of the start of the Premier League season in just over two weeks’ time.
“We are so happy with the squad we have,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “We feel that the correct squad is exactly this type of squad we have, with people like Didier and John Terry, but at the same time people like [Andreas] Christensen and [Nathan] Ake. We have the squad we want and, I repeat, the club was fantastic in the way they worked so hard and so fast to get Diego, Filipe and Fabregas.”
It is Chelsea’s forward options that have been most transformed, with Samuel Eto’o also departing, to leave a trio of strikers of Costa, Drogba and Fernando Torres. Despite Mourinho’s words, reports suggest that he still has thoughts of strengthening his attacking options further. ESPN’s sources are of the belief that Chelsea are considering making an approach for Cavani, in a story backed up by a similar report from the London Evening Standard.
Chelsea are said to have been quoted an asking price of £40 million by Paris Saint-Germain, a full £15 million less than the French champions paid to secure the Uruguay international from Napoli 12 months ago. PSG’s openness to selling is fueled by their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Ángel di María and need to raise funds to go ahead with the transfer in order to comply with Financial Fair Play restrictions.
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In private it is believed that Cavani recently instructed his agent to size up the options for a move to the Premier League. Yet, despite voicing his discontent about having to play wide last season in order to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimović, the 27-year-old has publicly claimed that he is happy to remain in the French capital.
“I am certain to stay, why wouldn't I be? I feel great in Paris,” Cavani said, according to ESPN. “I have a contract to respect with PSG. I'm calm. I prefer to be here. I feel good here. But as I have said before, it doesn't only depend on the player, but also on certain things that can happen at the club.”
Cavani would certainly be a good fit for a Mourinho team. Few, if any, strikers in the world work as hard as Cavani, while he has the physical strength and pace to revel as a lone front man in a counter-attacking system, as he did at Napoli. But having just spent more than £30 million to secure one of Europe’s top strikers in Costa, Mourinho would have his work cut out to keep both the Spain international and Cavani happy.
Given that Chelsea already have one too many non-homegrown players over the age of 21 in their squad, a further departure would also be required. The player to exit would surely have to be Torres. Although Cavani had a disappointing climax to last season, it would be hard not to view waving goodbye to Torres and welcoming Cavani as a significant upgrade. Torres has continually failed to replicate the form of his early time at Liverpool since becoming Chelsea’s record transfer at £50 million in 2011.His hefty wage packet is believed to have consistently hindered the prospects of him being sold, yet Mourinho has praised the attitude of the Spanish front man.
“The other good thing is we have not just Diego -- we also have Drogba and Torres,” he explained, according to the Evening Standard. “I know what they can give. I also know because of Fernando’s great mentality he is ready to work.”