Chelsea have seen their hopes of landing former Real Madrid striker Jose Callejon dashed, by none other than Jose Mourinho, according to the Daily Express.
The publication today carries a story including quotes from the player himself, which indicate that he will not be moving to Stamford Bridge whilst Mourinho remains at the helm, despite the fact that recent rumours have suggested he might. The 27-year-old currently plays his football for Napoli, having left the Santiago Bernabeu for €10million in 2013, but has persistently been linked with a move away this summer.
Initially Chelsea had emerged as the frontrunners for his signature, with some reports claiming the Blues considered him an ideal upgrade on Demba Ba. However the forward has since gone on record to rule out a move to west London, with the Express stating that Mourinho is the reason.
The Spaniard, who was largely starved of game-time under Mourinho at Madrid, has made it clear that his intention is to remain playing for Rafael Benitez at Napoli, thus ending Chelsea’s assumed pursuit before it could gather any real momentum. Callejon made it clear that he enjoys the freedom he is allowed under Benitez, and will no doubt be looking to improve on the 15 Serie A goals he bagged last year.
“I still have four years on my contract. I feel good, I feel the support of the people,” he said.
"And I’m a former Real Madrid man? Indeed…but never say never in football. In any case, I do not have a problem - with Benitez I have complete freedom and I do not want to give that up.
"Not even for Mourinho at Chelsea? No."
With The Special One having already earmarked the striker positions as the ones which are most in need of improvement, he has set about early on trying to remedy the cause for most of last season’s woes. Diego Costa has already arrived from Atletico Madrid, and it would now seem that the Portuguese coach is to hand Romelu Lukaku the chance to prove himself in Chelsea colours.
What’s more, Fernando Torres seems destined to leave the club for La Liga this summer and, with Samuel Eto’o having seen his contract expire, Ba’s sale to Besiktas - which looks certain to go through - would leave Mourinho needing a completely new frontline. As such his interest in Callejon makes sense, even if it isn’t reciprocated.
What now Jose?
With Callejon out of the picture Mourinho could well turn to either Edinson Cavani or Mario Balotelli, both of whom seem to be available to purchase this summer. Paris Saint-Germain need to sell Cavani if they are to fund a move for Angel di Maria, though his £62million price-tag may put Mourinho off, whilst Balotelli is most definitely acquirable as he continues to struggle to fit in at AC Milan.
Either man would no doubt strengthen Chelsea’s attack, and the idea of Balotelli or Cavani linking up with Costa is one which will have Blues fans the world over salivating with anticipation.