Jose Mourinho: Chelsea strikers happy despite Wayne Rooney pursuit
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists the Blues strikers are happy despite the club's pursuit of Manchester United's Wayne Rooney
Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea’s three front-line strikers are happy despite the Blues’ pursuit of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United.
The Portuguese coach, 50, has Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku at his disposal but he freely admits one will be shown the exit door if the west Londoners sign Rooney.
However, Rooney’s possible arrival is not affecting the mind-sets of the Chelsea trio.
“They are professionals, they want to stay, they know that if someone is coming it will be hard because normally somebody will have to leave,” said Mourinho.
“If a player is happy here and they want to stay, especially if they are professional, they give everything like they are doing now.”
The former Real Madrid manager prefers not to have a squad in excess of 22 players at his disposal because he feels some of his charges may become disgruntled.
The current Chelsea squad would need to be trimmed by four or five players if Mourinho was to get his wish.
“I have told the players I want a squad of 22, so if somebody is coming then somebody is normally leaving. That is every motivation for them. If you’re professional then you give everything,” he continued.
“If I have four strikers it is complicated; one plays, one is on the bench and one stays out of selection – so three is fine.
“But four is too much unless you play with two strikers.
“If you play with three players behind the striker and you have six (attacking midfielders) that is fine but eight is too much so we try to have a squad where everyone is playing regularly and they have chances to play. From experience having more than 22 players is too much. “
One player who has been rumoured to be facing the exit door for much of his Chelsea career is Torres.
But his manager was keen to praise the Spaniard’s so far.
“Fernando has had a short pre-season. He was my first choice for the first match (against Hull City). He did his job well. It is part of my job to keep them motivated,” he added.