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Mourinho raises doubts about Samuel Eto’o’s age, lacks faith in Chelsea's strikers

By News Express on 25/02/2014

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Chelsea of England Manager José Mourinho may have talked himself into trouble. He has been left red-faced after it came to light that he lacks confidence in his attackers and believes that Cameroonian marksman Samuel Eto’o is older than he claims.

Mourinho now has an uphill task raising the morale of his strikers after reports emerged in France of him making disparaging remarks, delivered in what he apparently considered to be a private conversation, over the quality of the forwards at his disposal.

The comments were made last week in Nyon but reported as he and his squad flew out to Turkey for the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie against Galatasaray holding tomorrow night at the Turk Telekomm arena. Mourinho has been left to rebuild bridges with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba after Canal Plus published a video on its website of him assessing the current crop.

While Chelsea do not deny the authenticity of the quotes, they have stressed that the manager was unaware he was being filmed and was instead conducting what he believed to be a private and light-hearted conversation with the head of Hublot watches at a sponsor’s event. Mourinho, who has been left embarrassed and exasperated that footage of the exchange has since been published online, is heard to say: “The problem with Chelsea is we lack a scorer. I have one [Eto’o] but he’s 32. Maybe 35, who knows?”

The conversation went on to address the possible availability of the Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, a player in whom Chelsea have long been interested but given a value in excess of £50m and a colossal associated wage package, is now effectively out of their market, with the London club intent upon complying with UEFA financial fair play regulations. “I don’t have Falcao but Falcao doesn’t have a team,” said Mourinho. “Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters? If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be at the end [of my career].”

Canal Plus was waiting to conduct an on-the-record interview with the manager, with other topics later discussed to camera, including a section about the much coveted Paris St-Germain forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. “It’s impossible,” said Mourinho when asked about the Sweden striker potentially moving to Stamford Bridge in the future. “He’s happy in Paris. I know because he’s my friend and we’re in touch. PSG with all its wealth would never open the door. That’s mission impossible.”

The interest in Cavani was discussed in the context of a mooted swap deal, reported in France last month, involving Eden Hazard. “Eden is our boy,” added Mourinho. “We want him to stay for 10 years. We want to build the team around him. He is a player with the style of football we want to have in our team.”

The comments were particularly untimely given Chelsea must continue to rely upon Eto’o, Ba and Torres – a £50m World Cup winner – as they pursue the Premier League and Champions League trophies this term. That trio have not been prolific, albeit Torres and Eto’o have enjoyed brief flurries of goalscoring form, and Mourinho has already made it known he intends to reinforce up front at the end of the campaign. Eto’o, a three-time European Cup winner, is out of contract in the summer and has attracted interest from clubs in Major League Soccer, while Ba, a £7m signing from Newcastle 13 months ago, is also expected to move on.

•Partly based on a Guardian of London report. Photo shows Mourinho.

Source News Express

Posted 25/02/2014 6:54:15 PM





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