Transfer news: Chelsea rumours refuse to go away despite the insistence of Jose Mourinho that club will not bring in new faces

Mourinho has claimed that he does not expect to be active in January but that could quickly change should either Kevin De Bruyne or Juan Mata be sold

Chelsea face Hull on Saturday amid speculation Jose Mourinho is planning to be active in the transfer market despite the manager's protestations to the contrary.

Mourinho has for weeks insisted January is not the month for buying the players he needs and that Chelsea will only make a move if circumstances dictate the time is right.

Prior to last week's FA Cup win at Derby, he said: "The market is open, but for us, almost closed."

And before the defeat of Crystal Palace in mid-December, he said: "The market opens in January, but as I was saying, I don't think we will be there, buying or selling.

"If something happens it will happen (with) one player because the occasion was very good.

"We always thought to try the best with this team and wait for the right moment to improve the squad and be strong."

Gone are the days when owner Roman Abramovich writes a blank cheque, and the Blues must cope with a £49.4million loss in their most recent annual results in an era of Financial Fair Play.

Mourinho has dismissed a move for Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli and believes the "killer" striker he covets is not available at this time of year. He insisted he would be sticking with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba.

Ba has had opportunities limited and been repeatedly linked with a switch away, including to his former club West Ham.

Inter Milan's Colombian winger Fredy Guarin has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea are hardly short in the forward-thinking-midfielder department, even if Kevin De Bruyne is allowed to leave.

Belgium forward De Bruyne is eager to move amid reports linking him with Wolfsburg; all that stands in the way is the not insignificant hurdle of a fee being agreed.

Mourinho wants De Bruyne and Juan Mata, who have struggled to adopt the work ethic he has asked for, to fight for their places.

Mata has indicated he is prepared to but should the Spanish playmaker or De Bruyne be sold, Chelsea may reinvest the funds.

One player who has coped well with Mourinho's demands is Willian, the Brazil forward who Chelsea snatched from under the noses of Tottenham in August.

"The last few matches have gone very well and in each match I'm looking to do better," Willian told Chelsea TV.

"I'm looking to keep up good form until the end of the season."

Chelsea have won four of their last five games, conceding one goal, but will be wary of Hull, who beat Liverpool at the KC Stadium in early December and Fulham 6-0 in their most recent home match.

Chelsea played some of their best football of the season against Hull in Mourinho's first match of his second spell in charge in August and the Portuguese will hope for a similar showing on Saturday.

PA

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen