Oumar Niasse is gearing up to face off against Chelsea in the FA Cup today, but the script could well have been different had former Blues boss Jose Mourinho got his way.
Everton striker Niasse, who signed for the Toffees during the January transfer window, has confirmed that Mourinho wanted to take him from Lokomotiv Moscow before Roberto Martinez did so at the beginning of this year.
As relayed by The Guardian, the Senegal striker has told how he was made aware of interest from Mourinho shortly before the Portuguese coach’s sacking at Stamford Bridge.
It’s purported that Mourinho was looking at Niasse as a potential spark to ignite a flame amongst a very drab backdrop in west London.
"My manager told me Mourinho was interested," Niasse told The Guardian. 'He said Mourinho liked the way I play and had been looking at me since I was in Turkey [with Akhisar Belediyespor].
"He said Mourinho liked the way I play and had been looking at me since I was in Turkey [with Akhisar Belediyespor].
"He was very interested in me for this last transfer window but then he was sacked."
No Chelsea move
Alas, of course, Mourinho departed Chelsea for the second time in December, with Niasse then going on to sign for Everton in January for £13.5million.
The 25-year-old has yet to find the back of the net for the Merseyside outfit, though his lack of match fitness and an injury issue with his wrist can be blamed for his less than explosive start to life in England.
The summer search
In any case, Chelsea fans won’t be too distressed that Mourinho was sent packing before he could acquire Niasse, who is currently under the spotlight from fans at Everton who don’t believe he’s up to the task of aiding Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea, of course, haven’t exactly been lethal in front of goal this season, but at least things look like they’re heading back in the right direction under Guus Hiddink’s temporary stewardship.
Marquee names will be linked with Stamford Bridge come the summer, with or without Champions League football, and fans might be thankful then that no frontman was purchased in January.
Agree or disagree? Chelsea fans, we want to hear your opinion. Let us know in the comments box below who you think the Blues should sign the strengthen their frontline.