The Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic said today that he would have no issue with the club signing the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, currently banned for biting Ivanovic in April.
Speaking in Bangkok ahead of Chelsea’s first game of their Asia tour against Singha All-Stars tomorrow, Ivanovic was asked whether he would accept playing with Suarez, banned for ten games for biting the Serb’s arm during the Premier League fixtures between the two teams at Anfield.
Ivanovic said: “About Luis Suarez, I said straight after the game [in April], whatever happened on the field finished there. He's one of the best strikers in the Premier League. I don't have any problem with him or doubt about that.”
The Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has confirmed that Arsenal have made a bid for the Uruguayan striker, who has told Liverpool that he wishes to leave. As far as Chelsea are concerned he is behind Wayne Rooney in terms of who they want to sign this summer, but may yet be a potential target.
Jose Mourinho said that he believed the club would sign more players but for the meantime he was working with his current squad. He said: “This is a period where the big clubs, and the managers of the big clubs, are connected with every player. Until 31 August, that's the old story in football. Rumours and rumours and rumours. At the end of the day, after so many rumours, some things come true.
“But at this moment I'm so happy with the people I have here that I'm not thinking about other players. If I have to think about some players, I have to think about my players who are on holiday period and still have to join us on 28 July.”
Mourinho has named his team for the game in Bangkok tomorrow. He will start with Petr Cech, Wallace, Tomas Kalas, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Lucas Piazon, Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle and Romelu Lukaku. All but De Bruyne will be replaced at half-time with the second half side featuring Jamal Blackman, Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ryan Betrand, Marco van Ginkel, Ramires, De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Demba Ba.