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
Friday 10 January 2014
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.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
David Luiz says 'I'm not a virgin': Former Chelsea defender denies he is celibate
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest