Jose Mourinho is set to send a number of Chelsea players on loan to Ludogorets Razgrad, according to their new manager Bruno Ribeiro.
Ribeiro grew up with Mourinho in the Portuguese town of Setubal and, as a result, share a close relationship.
Both have found their way into professional football with Ribeiro enjoying a four year spell in England football with both Leeds United and Sheffield United between 1997 and 2001.
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Mourinho never flourished on the field but is now considered one of, if not the best manager in the world at the moment.
Not Ribeiro has confirmed he is expecting a helping hand from his close friend in the form of some loan deals for some of Chelsea's 72 players. Yes, that is 72 players.
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"José Mourinho is like a brother of mine," Ribeiro told the press in Bulgaria, as reported by The Guardian. "We talked about Ludogorets and he advised me to come here.
"It is possible that some Chelsea players will join Ludogorets [on loan]. I'll talk with Mourinho and see what happens. Without doubt he is going to help us."
Plenty to spare
Chelsea have an enormous roster but rather incredibly used fewer players (22) than any other Premier League team on their way to winning last season's title.
They kept the changing room relatively clear by sending 30 players out on loan with the likes of Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem and the Championship's Middlesbrough benefitting.
Ribeiro may be confident that his relationship with Mourinho will get him some players, but convincing the likes of Patrick Bamford and Bertrand Traore to move to Bulgaria is another matter.
These players are likely to have numerous offers from around Europe and the former Eastern Bloc state is unlikely to be as a attractive as Holland or Spain.
Champions League appeal
However, they may find it much easier to attract Chelsea's youngsters if they manage to qualify for the Champions League for a second consecutive season.
The Bulgarian champions were drawn in a group alongside Liverpool and Real Madrid but had to play three two-legged qualifying rounds before making the group stage.
They will have to go through the same process again, leaving a return to Europe's premier competition looking unlikely.
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