Mourinho will target Chelsea trio after Inter move

Jose Mourinho will be presented as Internazionale's new coach today with three of his former Chelsea lieutenants on his list of potential new recruits.

A statement from Inter confirmed: "Internazionale announce the arrival of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach has signed a three-year contract and will work alongside Rui Farias, Silvino and Andrei Villas Boas. The assistant coach will be Giuseppe Baresi."

The statement continued: "Thanking Roberto Mancini and his staff for the success obtained in four seasons as the leader of the team, all of Internazionale has the great pleasure to welcome Jose Mourinho and his coaches."

The good news for Chelsea supporters fearing an exodus is that advanced moves to take the Barcelona players, Samuel Eto'o and Deco, to Italy could cool interest in Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, and that Chelsea will almost certainly price Michael Essien out of Inter's reach.

The former Chelsea manager is understood to have sent a message to the Ghana midfielder after his European Cup final disappointment, relaying news that he was to be confirmed as Inter's new coach and that he hoped one day Essien would join him. The player Mourinho signed from Lyons for £25m in 2005 would replace the former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira in the heart of Inter's midfield but he is understood to be happy in London, despite his allegiance to Mourinho, and his asking price is likely to be more than £30m.

Drogba would be a more straightforward option but the Ivory Coast striker's dream exit from Stamford Bridge could be complicated by Inter's interest in the Barcelona forward Eto'o. The club's president Massimo Moratti was in Barcelona last week for talks with Barça's Sporting Director, Txiki Begiristain, and the transfer of Eto'o is understood to have been the main reason for his visit.

Eto'o was a Mourinho target when he was at Stamford Bridge, and having spent much of last season studying Barcelona – until it was clear they would overlook him in their search for a new coach – he will know that Eto'o remains one of the world's most formidable strikers. Last season he missed six weeks through injury and another month on African Cup duty but still managed 15 goals in 17 league starts.

Relations have soured with supporters who accused him of a lack of commitment when he first suggested he would leave if Barcelona won nothing again and then missed a match against Real Madrid after appearing to deliberately pick up a suspension. He became embroiled in more controversy last week when he was accused of head-butting a radio journalist at Cameroon's training headquarters. Barcelona see him as a public relations liability and yet somebody who still commands the kind of transfer fee which will help them finance squad rebuilding.

While not involved in last week's meeting Mourinho is understood to have given his full backing to Inter's push for Eto'o, and with the club not short of striking resources and the current first-choice forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the verge of signing a contract that will keep him at Inter until 2013, Mourinho might not be able to make room for his close friend Drogba.

Also understood to have been discussed at last week's meeting was Portuguese midfielder Deco who won the Champions League with Mourinho at Porto and like Eto'o is being shunted out of the Nou Camp.

Mourinho is still smarting at being overlooked for the Barcelona job, and the prospect of building a Champions League-winning team around two Barcelona cast-offs could be too much to resist.

If Deco joins Eto'o at Inter it would then remain to be seen if there was still room for Lampard. His agent, Steve Kutner, who has close links with Inter, having taken both Paul Ince and Patrick Vieira there in the past, has denied that any deal had been done for Lampard to follow Mourinho, and negotiations with Chelsea are understood to be ongoing over a £130,000-a-week extension to the England international's contract at Stamford Bridge that runs out at the end of next season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific