Football

Mourinho reckons Chelsea will be champions

Manager Jose Mourinho is confident Chelsea have assembled a squad capable of winning the English Premier League next season.

But he also knows any of the title hopefuls could also easily end up fifth.

The Blues have moved quickly in the summer transfer market, bringing in Cesc Fabregas before the World Cup, and have since added fellow Spaniard Diego Costa and also defender Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, as well as promising 19-year-old midfielder Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split.

Mourinho, however, understands all too well each of the other leading sides have also strengthened their armoury, while Manchester United are expected to recover and challenge again under new manager Louis van Gaal.

"Last year, if you had asked me in July, I would never have said United would be outside the top four. This season I will tell you one (to miss out) and I have a big percentage of making a mistake," said Mourinho, who is an ambassador and pundit for BT Sport next season and took part in a Q&A session at BT Tower in central London on Friday night.

"There were good teams last season and there will be better teams this season because everyone is investing.

"A few years ago, you make a team to be champions and most probably you are champions. Now if you make a team to be champions, you try to finish in the top four.

ANYBODY'S TITLE

"Why I like the Premier League so much is that, at this moment, nobody knows who is going to win the title.

"I know that we want to and I know that we can, but it is the kind of competition where I can't say.

"At this moment, I think between us, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man United, Man City - who is going to be first, who is going to play in the Europa League, I don't know."

Mourinho maintains the disappointment suffered by hosts Brazil in the World Cup will not impact on the domestic form of his Brazilian trio Ramires, Oscar and Willian.

The Samba Boys came under severe criticism after they were thumped 7-1 in the semi-final by Germany, and then lost 3-0 to Holland in the play-off for third place.

Mourinho said: "I was more worried last season. I felt they were too connected with the World Cup in January, February and March and I was feeling them already there and that really worried me - it was a difficult situation.

"Now it was a big disappointment, but you have to move on from that in football. I am waiting for them and I don't think it will be a problem.

"I have to try to use it in a positive way.

"You didn't succeed so this season is important for you. Let's change the image and the feelings and go back to what you were, like the World Cup was your twin brother."

- PA Sport.


THREE MAIN REASONS...

ACE ADDITIONS

The Blues have made three key signings. Striker Diego Costa, midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Filipe Luis are players who can go straight into Jose Mourinho’s first 11.

DONE AND DUSTED

They have concluded their transfer business early. The new additions will have time to settle and the squad will be well prepared for the coming season.

BRAZIL’S PAIN, BLUES’ GAIN

Their Brazilian trio of Ramires, Oscar and Willian may have had a disastrous World Cup, but they will be going all out to put things right come the new campaign.


We have the best coach and an amazing squad. I hope the supporters will see the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

- Chelsea’s new signing Filipe Luis

 

Blues are Cesc's first choice

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho maintains it took him only 20 minutes to convince Cesc Fabregas to sign from Barcelona - and reckons the former Arsenal captain never wanted to return to his old club.

Arsenal had first option to bring Fabregas back to the club he left in 2007, which manager Arsene Wenger passed up as he pursued other targets.

Mourinho, though, feels Stamford Bridge was always the midfielder's preferred destination.

"I spoke with him 20 minutes. I think he really wanted to come to us," said Mourinho.

"As you know, Arsenal had an option where they could interfere, but I think he was not open to that. I think he was very, very much in our direction, so it was an easy job for me."

Chelsea have been linked with several other big names this summer, including German World Cup winner Sami Khedira - also a reported target for Arsenal - and Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, who did not play for Colombia in Brazil because of injury.

Besides Fabregas, they have already secured the signatures of striker Diego Costa and defender Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, and young midfielder Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split.

Mourinho, though, indicated the Blues' chequebook was closed.

He said: "I have to say my club did a fantastic job, and not just because of what we bought, but because we did it in almost record time.

"The transfer market closes Aug 31 and we close our market on July 19. We finished the market today.

FANTASTIC

"The club did fantastic.

"We knew the targets, we knew the players and the club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage.

"We got exactly what we need and what we want. I like the squad very much and I look forward to starting the season.

"I don't think we'll sign any more players. The market is open, but we are so happy with what we have.

"We feel that our squad are what we want.

"We don't want a squad of only end-products. We also want to bring to the first team, three or four Under-21s.

"We are going to develop players and we are happy with this balance we have."

- PA Sport.

Drogba set for Mourinho reunion

Chelsea have reportedly started discussions with former striker Didier Drogba to bring him back to Stamford Bridge as a player-coach next season.

It is believed that Blues boss Jose Mourinho wants to re-sign the 36-year-old as a second striker and will tempt him back to Chelsea with an offer of also gaining coaching experience at the club.

Reports claim that Drogba, who is out of contract following a stint with Turkish side Galatasaray, has a lucrative two-year contract offer on the table from Italian champions Juventus.

But the Ivorian is understood to be leaning towards returning to London to once again work under Mourinho.

- Wire Services.