Best team proves elusive for Mourinho

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The Independent Football

Mourinho fielded 23 players in the 1-0 win against Milan and is expected to show off his multi-talented squad in similar fashion when they play their second game of the American tour against DC United in Washington tonight.

While this summer has been the cheapest of the Roman Abramovich era so far, with just £30.5m spent on Shaun Wright-Phillips, Asier Del Horno and Lassana Diarra - although the £20m signing of Michael Essien is still ongoing - Mourinho sees the talent at his disposal being too much for his rivals to cope with.

"In this moment people have seen Chelsea play Milan with two teams and you couldn't say at this moment which is the better one," he said. "You couldn't say which wingers were better, Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips in the second half, Damien Duff and Arjen Robben in the first.

"You couldn't say Hernan Crespo, or Didier Drogba, John Terry and Robert Huth, or William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho, Petr Cech, or Carlo Cudicini, Geremi, or Glen Johnson. We have one of the best squads in Europe. I don't know which team is the second one.

"I asked the staff if we play tomorrow against Wigan what is your first XI. There were four different answers and they were all different from me. I will wait 15 days before I decide."

The Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger complained that he could make a move for a player only once Chelsea decided what they were going to do, but Mourinho insists it is easier with less money.

"Essien is a crucial player for Lyon so ... they don't want to sell, they make it difficult and sometimes they ask for crazy prices. It is much easier to get £3m players than these kind of players. If I am in a medium team and I was given £20m I can buy six players. I think it's easy. I think buying players for Chelsea is the hardest job in the league because of our quality."

At home, Wenger must begin searching elsewhere for his major signing of the summer as defeat looms in the race to sign Seville's Julio Baptista.

Baptista's determination to secure an EU passport provided the stumbling block with the 23-year-old able to begin his application next month when he will have completed two years' residency in Spain.

It could take a further 12 months before his application is successful and this has been enough to persuade him against a move to Highbury.