Jose Mourinho’s opinion that his substandard geriatric strikers aren’t good enough to guide his team – who sit two points adrift of the pace in the Premier League with a Champions League semi-final ticket booked – to major titles will lead him to overhaul his frontline this summer.
A big-money move for Diego Costa is frequently mooted, but to prevent the club winding up in an equally dire situation when the Atletico Madrid man gets a bit long in the tooth, they’re also planning on bringing some youngsters in too.
Croatian prodigy Mario Pasalic is one of those in question and the Blues will complete his £3m signing next week, according to the Daily Mail.
The 19-year-old has fired 11 goals in 25 games for Hajduk Split this season, but it’s unlikely the German-born goal-getter will still be stationed at the club beyond the current campaign.
In January his agent was quoted as saying:
“There are several interested clubs from Italy, Germany and Spain, and it is possible that the first two weeks of preparation activity will be with Chelsea. But the decision is Jose Mourinho’s.”
An explanation as to what ‘preparation activity’ is would’ve been helpful, but it appears the Special One has made his mind up on this one, with other sources even going as far as to speculate a pre-contract with the Stamford Bridge club has already been agreed.
The Mail is under the impression that, akin to almost their entire allocation of players aged under 21, the 13/5 title second-favourites will loan out the fledgling Croat next season.
More pressing concerns than deciding between Vitesse Arnhem or Middlesbrough as to who gets to borrow Pasalic in 2014/15 is Sunderland’s visit to the Bridge on Saturday.
Having just witnessed Gus Poyet’s men hold Manchester City to a totally unanticipated 2-2 draw, the Blues will be taking the kid gloves off for this one.
Goals are a guarantee based on the pair’s most recent results, with 11 of their last 12 collisions yielding over 2.5 strikes.
A not altogether unreasonable price for a repeat of this barrier being broken once more pays at 8/15, but the cushy 13/10 for over 3.5 plundered in west London is the bet to be on using the same period of matches as the benchmark.
It’s copped in seven of them and the odds of it occurring are further augmented by four of Sunderland’s last seven on the road seeing the mark surpassed.