A fairly successful summer transfer session for Chelsea might not be over, as the Blues and manager Jose Mourinho chase some of the bigger names available on the market, and possibly let another established star slip away.
Mourinho and supporters said goodbye, for now, to the likes of David Luiz, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (the last two on loans), and sold off Romelu Lukaku or £28 million to make his stay at Everton permanent. Chelsea made up for those losses with striker Diego Costa and left-back Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, as well midfielder Cesc Fabregas. Stamford Bridge also welcomed back striker Didier Drogba, 36, who scored 100 goals in his first go-round.
Chelsea could further bolster its lineup if it lands Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira. Along with Arsenal and Bayern Munich, Chelsea have shown interest in the 27-year-old German, according to Bild. The defensive midfielder could cost upwards of £30 million, and might find playing time scarce next term at the Bernabeu, even though he played an integral role in Germany’s World Cup run last month.
Mourinho could conduct more business with his former club, and send goalkeeper Petr Cech to Spain should Thibaut Courtois becomes the Blues No. 1 keeper, Daily Telegraph reports. Courtois has spent the last three seasons with Atletico Madrid, and the 22-year-old needs playing time should he one day succeed Cech full-time. As a result, Cech, 32, does not want to sit on the bench at this stage of his career, especially after occupying Chelsea’s net for the last 10 years.
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“I have to do what I think is the best and the fact we have two fantastic goalkeepers is not a problem for me,” Mourinho said to Telegraph. “I was never afraid to make decisions and in the end it will be my decision and not that of anybody else.
“They have to work and work hard and wait for my decision, then fight against my decision if it is against one of them. The only way to fight is to work.”
Mourinho’s beliefs in work ethic and a player earning his position and developing extend to loan spells. According to Daily Mirror, the Blues would have shipped winger Christian Atsu to Everton, but the deal fell through once it was learned manager Roberto Martinez intended to use the 22-year-old Ghanaian as a backup. As a result Chelsea requested a “recall” clause be included in the deal, so they could bring Atsu back to Stamford Bridge if he wasn’t receiving enough time on the pitch. Everton have apparently balked.
Another concern of Mourinho’s is compliance with Champions League and Premier League player quotas, meaning he had to shuttle off another foreign player, and it was originally believed that player would be Nigerian midfielder John Mikel Obi. However, the London Evening Standard reports that Obi Mikel’s job is safe after the Blues loaned midfielder Oriol Romeu to Stuttgart.
Lastly, Bastia and Chelsea have entered into talks over a loan deal for 18-year-old Colombian forward Joao Rodriguez, L’Equipe reports. Though he was the first Colombian to ever sign with Chelsea last year, Rodriguez has yet to wear a Blues kit, spending the last year on loan with Deports Quindio and Uniautonoma and scoring one goal. In the same span he’s totaled three goals in eight international appearances with Colombia’s under-17 and under-20 clubs. Another year or two of development away from Stamford Bridge might serve Rodriguez best.