Jose Mourinho expects the summer transfer market to be “like Wall Street collapsing” as rivals attempt to reel in his Chelsea side.
Manchester United have already bought Netherlands winger Memphis Depay for £25 million (€34.3m) and are rumoured to be considering a £40m (€55m) bid for Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, the subject of the world record transfer of £85m (€117m) from Spurs, have also been linked with moves for astronomical fees this summer.
Chelsea did their business early last summer, with the key purchases of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas significantly aiding their title win with three matches to spare.
And Mourinho is in no rush to enter the bidding this summer.
“I expect to be busy walking from my towel in the sand to the water, swim a little bit and be back to the sun again. That’s where I expect to be busy,” said Mourinho, speaking ahead of Monday’s game at West Brom.
“I’m in a different position to last season. Last season I was more than keen for my club to sell some players. At this moment I’m very happy to keep my players.”
There will be some outgoings and incomings — “a little bit everywhere” — but Mourinho hopes goalkeeper Petr Cech will stay at Stamford Bridge despite being displaced as first choice by Thibaut Courtois.
Cech’s agent, Viktor Kolar, has said the 32-year-old has been permitted to speak to other clubs, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Besiktas, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain reported to be keen on the goalkeeper.
“I don’t know that it’s absolutely true what the agent is saying,” Mourinho said. “Maybe it is, but the player has a contract with Chelsea and Chelsea will have a very important say in the decision.
“I keep saying the same: I want my best players. Petr is one of my best players. I’m optimistic that he can be here next year.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho and Premier League leaders Chelsea have insisted they acted correctly after being criticised for their conduct when Oscar was feared to have suffered a head injury last month.
Chelsea’s approach in dealing with a head knock sustained by Courtois was scrutinised after last October’s clash with Arsenal, when the goalkeeper initially played on before being replaced.
The Blues’ handling of Oscar, who was clattered by Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina on April 26, was questioned by Dr Willie Stewart, who has been named on a FA concussion panel which met for the first time this week.
Oscar was felled by Ospina after 16 minutes, but, after treatment, played on before being replaced at half-time. Dr Stewart said last week he was “amazed” that happened.
“He didn’t have a head injury,” said Mourinho.
“He had a shock, (a) strong contact with Ospina. It was not a head injury.
“The medical department were fantastic with the treatment they gave him, in the decision to bring him out (of the game).”
Oscar subsequently sustained a thigh injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season and this summer’s Copa America.
Chelsea are understood to be unhappy with Stewart’s comments, made in a Sunday newspaper, given the neuropathologist has been named on the FA panel.
The Blues, who are totally supportive of their medical team’s actions, privately expressed the belief that Stewart flouted General Medical Council guidelines by judging a clinical situation in which he did not examine Oscar.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved