While their rivals for the Premier League title continue to make waves in the transfer market this summer, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stressed that he is keen only to maintain the “balance” in his squad. Manchester United and Manchester City have each made major additions, with Arsenal upgrading their goalkeeping department by prizing Petr Cech away from Stamford Bridge. Last year’s Premier League champions have so far only replaced Cech with former Stoke City stopper Asmir Begovic as well bringing in Radamel Falcao for the departed veteran Didier Drogba.
“If one of our players in a specific position wants to leave, we agree a deal for a player to leave and we have to answer immediately and bring in somebody else, because at the moment we have balance in the squad and we cannot lose that,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s a big challenge for us to go through the season with basically the same team and squad from last season.
Mourinho was, though, happy to state that he is “looking for a defender to finish the balance in our squad.” And he has confirmed that he is determined to make the incoming defender Everton’s John Stones. Chelsea have already had a bid of £20 million rejected for the highly rated 21-year-old England international, with Everton manager Roberto Martinez hitting out at the public pursuit of his starlet. However, Mourinho is adamant that Chelsea have done nothing wrong in their pursuit of the player.
“We made a bid, the bid is there and Everton have the power to accept it or refuse it,” he said. “The transfer window is open, when it is open every club and every player is open to bids. Bids come for our players, we make bids for other players and the process can be so simple.
“If we made a bid it is because we like the player, we don't make bids for players we don't like, but we respect Everton and respect every club that has a player and it is up to them -- everything is in their hands.”
Mourinho’s comments suggest that, contrary to much publication, he won’t be adding a central midfielder to his squad this summer. Several names have been linked to boosting that department of the Chelsea squad, including Juventus’ Paul Pogba. The French star has been cited as a target for several of Europe’s top clubs, notably Barcelona. However, Mourinho hinted that, while he would love to have Pogba in his team, a transfer is not realistic at this stage.
“Pogba is one of the top players in the world,” he said, via The Guardian. Pogba goes to any team and improves that team automatically. If he stays at Juventus, Juventus will be very strong again. If he goes somewhere else he will improve immediately a team. This is not our case. I think everybody has an interest in Pogba. But there are things you can do and things you cannot do. I love the Eiffel Tower but I can’t have the Eiffel Tower in my garden. I can’t even have the Eiffel Tower of Las Vegas.”
Of course, Chelsea’s interest in signing a midfielder could change if one were to leave. Speculation has surrounded the future of the Blues’ Brazilian midfielder Oscar this summer, with Pogba’s club Juventus being strongly linked with a transfer of late. Yet the 23-year-old has insisted that he wants to remain at Stamford Bridge for some time to come.
“Last year I signed a new contract and I want to stay a long time at Chelsea” he said, reports the London Evening Standard. “I have never been unsettled by what was being said.”
One player who is leaving Chelsea, though, is Filipe Luis. The Brazil international only joined from Atlético Madrid last summer, but, after a season in which he failed to dislodge Cesar Azpilicueta as the club’s first-choice left-back, is now heading back to the Spanish club. Reports on the fee suggest it is anywhere between £11 million and the full £16 million Chelsea paid for him a year ago.
Chelsea look set to act quickly the replace Filipe Luis, with The Guardian among the publications reporting that Augsburg’s Abdul Baba Rahman features prominently in their plans. The 21-year-old Ghana international impressed in his first season with Bundesliga club Augsburg last term and is thought to be available for around £17 million.