Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has offered a surprising response when quizzed on the frantic speculation around incoming and outgoing wingers at Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese poured cold water on the idea that Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah would be leaving west London, telling reporters:
“Salah is selected [against Bradford]. Schurrle is the same, he’s selected,” he said. “I like them, I need them and I trust them.
“I can only play 11 players. Salah is not playing a lot, Schurrle slightly more, but they have played for us in every competition. I count on them.”
On Schurrle in particular he expanded on his theme, suggesting:
“The principle is that we would like him to stay. The question is not whether he is allowed to go or not. The question is not whether we get a good offer.
“The question is whether we have a phenomenal offer and for the player to be super-keen to accept a new challenge in his career, because we don’t want to sell our players.”
Quoted extensively in a report by FourFourTwo, the Portuguese told reporters:
“Our desire is to keep the same squad. We are happy with the players and the work we did in the summer to prepare for the season.
“If possible, we don’t want to be involved in the transfer window. If we are, it’s because someone pushed us into it with an offer for our players.”
Mourinho also moved to quash rumours that Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado was on the verge of a move to Chelsea, saying:
“I think he [Cuadrado] fits well in Fiorentina’s squad and Colombia’s squad, not in Chelsea’s squad.”
Meanwhile, that fact that the Blues’ reported interest in Shakhtar Donetsk’s Douglas Costa wasn’t even mentioned suggests that gossip linking the Brazilian with a 5/1-rated move to Stamford Bridge in January is well wide of the mark.