Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was coy when asked whether the Blues have made a bid for Japanese international Yoshinori Muto but he did hint that commercial interest could play a role in transfer policy in the future.
Reports earlier this month claimed that Chelsea made a £4m bid for the FC Tokyo striker, which comes just months after the club confirmed a £40m-a-year sponsorship agreement with Japanese firm Yokohama Rubber.
As a result, speculation has suggested that Chelsea’s bid for Muto could be partly spurred by a desire to expand the club’s following in the Far East.
And speaking to reporters ahead of Chelsea’s game against Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League this weekend, Mourinho hinted that commercial interests can sometimes play a role in recruitment.
“That’s modern football, that’s modern management,” Mourinho said.
“There is something that in modern management, you can't completely close the door to a little bit of commercial interest.
“At the same time, a football club is always a football club. And a top football club only has space for very good players or at least very good prospects.
"So no, we would never bring a player if the player has no capacity to be in the Chelsea squad.”
When asked about Muto specifically, Mourinho confirmed he knew ‘a little about him’ but declined to go into detail.
“It’s not nice to speak about other players,” Mourinho continued.
"The only thing I can say is that modern football is a business, an industry. You have to think about the financial situation, especially at a club like Chelsea, who always want to be under the rules of Fair Play.
"But we are a football club. We want to win matches and trophies. We don't get players unless we believe the player is a good one or a good prospect. That's for sure."
What do you think Chelsea fans? Should commercial interest ever play a role in transfer policy considerations?