Jose Mourinho has hinted that Chelsea or another of the Premier League’s giants would have signed new Benifca sensation Talisca if there had been no work permit issues.
The young Brazilian joined the Portuguese side this summer from Bahia in his homeland and announced himself with a hat-trick in his new club’s 5-0 defeat of Vitoria Setubal at the weekend and the Chelsea manager admitted his admiration for the attacking midfielder.
Lots of suitors
Further to this, the Stamford Bridge tactician claimed that a number of Premier League clubs would have jumped at the chance to sign him but for the likelihood of him being granted a work permit.
Mourinho even suggested that some were prepared to buy him and send him on loan to a European side in the hope that he would eventually get called up to the Brazil squad.
“I think Benfica hired well,” he said when being interviewed by broadcaster TVI24.
“They say Talisca is unknown, but he is only so unknown because he's only not playing in England because he doesn't have a work permit. If he had one, he would be here!
“There were many English teams, great teams and important, that wanted him. Moreover, there were those who wanted to sign him, even though he could not play for now.
“They wanted to sign him, put him in a minor league and hope that eventually he came to be selected, and would consequently then get the work permit.”
Mourinho’s words would suggest that Chelsea may have been one of those clubs to be interested in the 20-year-old, whose hat-trick came in fewer than 20 minutes in Benfica’s emphatic victory.
Signing a youngster and loaning him out to another club to mature or become eligible for a work permit is something the Blues are familiar with and they currently have a whole raft of promising players out on loan.
Chilean defender Christian Cuevas is currently being loaned to Universidad de Chile in his homeland in the hope that he will eventually get summoned by the national team and have a better chance of securing a work permit.
Possibly the biggest success this strategy has produced is that of current number one Thibaut Courtois, who was loaned to Atletico Madrid immediately after being purchased from Genk in 2011.
The Belgium international became regarded as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers in his time with the Spanish champions and has now taken Petr Cech’s spot as the man between the sticks for Chelsea.