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.
As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Savoury patisserie is a thing now
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so