Jose Mourinho has told the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to carry on and get involved in a 25-club "auction" for a player labelled 'the next Messi', because Chelsea are not going to be drawn into bidding.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Chelsea's clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League tomorrow, Mourinho admitted he had seen Martin Odegaard and revealed that "25 clubs" were chasing him. Though he insisted the Stamford Bridge club would not be lone of those trying to secure his signature.
In running Jose Mourinho's quotes, the Daily Express, claimed that Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal were all said to be among that substantial pack of clubs and that Chelsea had previously been credited with an interest.
It looks as though Brendan Rodgers, Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger have been spared a formidable opponent in any attempts to convince the 15-year-old Norwegian sensation in choosing their respective clubs.
“Where is he going? I have heard about him. He goes to 25 clubs. I just want to know which one," responded Mourinho when asked about any potential interest in Odegaard.
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"We are not in condition to go into this fight between the 25 clubs. We are a different profile of club. I don't want to participate in the auction."
Real Madrid are also mentioned as possible suitors for a young player who has generated a considerable amount of excitement after only a handful of senior performances. Odegaard is currently with Stromsgodset in his native Norway, but he has already made a name for himself on the international stage.
He became the youngest ever senior Norway international when national team manager Per-Mathias Hogmo handed him a debut against the United Arab Emirates in August. Odegaard was 15 years and 253 days old, beating the previous record set in 1910 by 98 days.
With any sensational young talent, it is expected to see the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United involved in the pursuit and previously it would be similar with Chelsea. Mourinho's words suggest a change of strategy has been made at Stamford Bridge, most probably in light of Financial Fair Play regulations.
However, their recent purchases of Kurt Zouma, Wallace and Christian Atsu would suggest they are still ready to invest in youth stars, and not exactly cheap ones at that.