Jose Mourinho has never been one to bow to the pressure coming from the board room level, and so his stance on the potential sale of star performer Eden Hazard isn’t likely to shift anytime soon.
The rumours this week have inferred that Real Madrid will turn their attentions to the Belgium international should Cristiano Ronaldo make a shock move to Manchester United, with £60 million thought to be what they would place on the table in an effort to make Chelsea play ball.
As for Mourinho though it would appear that he’s not even prepared to step onto the field of play. Sources in Belgium today highlight the fact that The Special One is firmly backing the stance that Hazard will not be sold, regardless of the price, and Madrid find themselves the last team Mourinho would be ready to do business with.
The Portuguese coach is said to be ready to reject all offers coming from Bernabeu chief Florentino Perez, as he sees it as a matter of principle that he doesn’t strengthen Los Blancos following the fall-out from his acrimonious exit in 2013.
Questions still remain over the future of Ronaldo, who has recently found himself the subject of fanciful speculation in the mainstream media but whatever happens Madrid won’t be finding a reprieve, if they do sell him, coming from Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has emerged as a player of vital importance for Chelsea over the past few years and, though he may never be capable of scoring as many goals as Ronaldo, his influence in the dressing room is every bit as important for Mourinho and Ronaldo's is for Carlo Ancelotti.
In other news from west London the Blues are already working on deals of their own, with Aston Villa wonderkid Jack Grealish lodged at the centre of their plans.
The youngster, who celebrates his 19th birthday today, has been offered a four year deal by the powers that be at Villa Park, but Mourinho is attempting to throw Paul Lambert’s plans for the future into disarray by hijacking negotiations before any agreement can be reached.
The player himself is believed to prefer to stay with his current club to continue his development, and will naturally be wary that all that awaits him at Chelsea is a loan-spell abroad, as has been the case with so many other promising youngsters.
Despite that though the Blues seem determined to fight Villa all the way, and the Midlands-based outfit might have to offer a lucrative contract to the youngster in order to guarantee that he remains their property for the remainder of this season.