Jose Mourinho offers to aid FA but admits English kids are hard to sign

Chelsea manager gives view on the national debate as his club return to league duty

Chief Football Correspondent

The new version of Jose Mourinho that returned to Chelsea in June for Part II of his adventure in English football is, we are told, older, calmer and keen to play his part as an elder statesman of the game – and so it was he offered his services to the Football Association yesterday.

Not, as the governing body once hoped, as manager of the England team, but as a potential star witness for Greg Dyke’s commission that will try to unite the national game to produce sufficient good young English footballers to keep the national side respectable.

The pledge to help England in his capacity as manager of one of the country’s leading clubs was one Mourinho made in the summer but this was him putting his money where his mouth was. To the extent that he refused to discuss any detail of his thoughts on the topic, but would save them for a “private discussion” with the FA chairman.

Mourinho is in the unusual position of having a major personal stake at both ends of the great youth development supply-line. He is manager of a club that was one of the architects of the Elite Player Performance Plan which has revolutionised academies and has spent more on its youth programme than any other. And he is also the father of 14-year-old goalkeeper Jose junior, recently signed to Fulham’s academy.

Asked about the England team’s future, Mourinho said that he “cared”. “I want my players to be selected and give everything for the national team. I never tell a player with a small injury to stay and forget his national team. When the phone rings and it’s the national side I take the call with pleasure. I want to help and support the academy to bring English players to the top. I care a lot.

“The only match I want England to lose is when they play Portugal. We have three players in the England team at the moment but if I could have four, five, six Chelsea players in the England team I would be happy. I would be more than happy to talk to Greg Dyke.”

Of course, with Mourinho there is always the background strategy and at the moment it suits him to be the all-conquering coach back from his European adventures solemnly promising to respect all aspects of the English game. When it came to how few English players were bought and sold this summer, he had an interesting story to tell.

“Financially the situation is not so simple. I like a young player, a young English player. The market is closed but I asked the question [how much his club valued him at] to position myself. I am speaking about a very young player and in the market [valuation by his club] it is like he has 50 caps when he has none. The price for English players is very high. The market is very difficult.”

Luke Shaw? Tom Ince? Will Hughes? Mourinho would not divulge the identity of the Englishman in question but no doubt the player’s club are aware of who he is talking about. As for the bigger picture, Mourinho felt it had more to do with the healthy financial situation of many Premier League clubs who – as opposed to Spain (outside the big two) and Portugal – did not need to sell.

Demba Ba was regarded as surplus to requirements at Chelsea Chelsea would like to have offloaded Demba Ba during the summer  

He takes Chelsea to Goodison Park today for the 5.30pm kick-off having not played a Premier League game for nearly three weeks but with a squad that is now fully fit. Even Tomas Kalas, who fractured his fibula, is expected back in training after the weekend. Nevertheless Chelsea’s window did fall a little flat, having initially promised to pursue what would have been one of the transfers of the decade.

There was no Wayne Rooney, and the late addition of Samuel Eto’o, who is in the squad today, also necessitated the shipping out of Romelu Lukaku on loan, rather than Demba Ba, whom Chelsea would like to have offloaded. Arsenal would not pay the loan fee for Ba, however.

“The kid wants to play every weekend,” Mourinho said of Lukaku. “I don’t know if Roberto [Martinez] promised him that but he’s more keen on that than competing with other big players every week. He’s a great kid and that’s why we didn’t want to sell him.”

Romelu Lukaku was sent on loan to Everton after the purchase of Samuel Eto’o, but will not play on Saturday Romelu Lukaku was sent on loan to Everton after the purchase of Samuel Eto’o, but will not play on Saturday  

That said, Chelsea’s trading lacked a marquee name. Although Mourinho proclaimed Tottenham, with their seven signings, the “kings of the transfer window” it was Arsenal who snared the biggest name, paying Real Madrid £42m for Mesut Ozil. So far Mourinho has been polite about his old enemy but he bridled at the suggestion that Arsenal have only just started spending money.

“I arrived in 2004 but I think when they [Arsenal] had Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars they spent some money. Probably not £40m because times change – Mesut is good for them. I thought they were title contenders when the season started. I always liked their players. [Theo] Walcott is not a 17-year-old boy any more. [Jack] Wilshere is a starter for England. [Santi] Cazorla is a world champion. We are not talking about the young team we played in the Carling Cup final [in 2007].”

Ideally, Mourinho said, he would not have to sign or sell anyone come January, although you expect that  is one pledge he may well be  reneging on.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London