Chelsea fans will have been left to twiddle their thumbs when the draw for the Champions League quarter-final was made today, what with Paris Saint-Germain having knocked them out on away goals in the round of sixteen.
However there are plusses to be taken. First and foremost they avoided a tie with Barcelona which, let’s face it, no one wants at the back-end of a title-contending season, and then of course there’s the opportunity for them to focus on the news doing the rounds, which carries some weight this morning.
Salah the new Messi
Getting us started there’s an interesting claim been made by Vincenzo Montella of Fiorentina, who has implied that Jose Mourinho was foolish to have offloaded Mohamed Salah during the January transfer window. The Egyptian winger was essentially swapped for Colombia star Juan Cuadrado, who has yet to find his feet in the Premier League.
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That’s not the case with Salah though, who continues to shine in Serie A. In fact, his performances have been so impressive that Montella has compared him to none other than Barcelona icon Lionel Messi. The Italian manager said that only the diminutive Argentine was quicker than Salah when running with the ball at his feet, which is high praise indeed considering some of the other speedsters who ply their trade in Europe.
Luis for Koke
In more speculative gossip it’s said that Mourinho has big plans for another of his struggling players, although those plans do include said outcast being used as a bargaining chip. According to the rumour mill Filipe Luis it to be used in an attempt to lure Atletico Madrid star Koke to Stamford Bridge, with the Spaniard possessive of a valuation close to £48 million.
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Since joining the Blues Luis has found it impossible to dislodge Cesar Azpilicueta from the left-back berth, and as a result he’s been forced to spend the majority of this campaign on the bench. The Brazilian himself has expressed a desire to stay and fight for his place, but it might not be his decision should Mourinho firm up his interest in Koke.
Last but not least it’s been made apparent that Chelsea can afford to sign world-class players this summer, with Mourinho set to have an extra £40 million to play with in the summer thanks to their new sponsorship deal with Yokohama. Financial Fair Play rules don’t look like being much of a problem during the next transfer window as a result, leaving Mourinho with plenty of room to negotiate with star targets.