Chelsea and Adidas conspired to invite top Blues target Juan Cuadrado to watch the Capital One Cup semi-final clash against Liverpool at Anfield last night, but Jose Mourinho wasn’t aware.
As relayed by the Daily Express, using quotes from Mourinho post-1-1 draw with the Reds, The Special One had no idea that the man he is rumoured to be interested in signing this month was in attendance in Merseyside, with his club having apparently gone over his head to arrange the visit.
When asked why Cuadrado was there to watch Chelsea earn a score draw with Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool, who looked every bit a match for their opponents, Mourinho simply replied: "He was here?"
The initial speculation surrounding the Colombia international’s presence was fuelled by numerous posts on social media platforms, prompting the idea that Cuadrado might have been in town to get a closer look at a team he is looking to join.
Cuadrado at Anfield?
Since last summer he’s been hotly linked with a Premier League switch, with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal tipped to make moves to sign him.
Now however their interest seems to have calmed, and with Barcelona forbidden to complete any transfers in 2015 - they were also interested in Cuadrado - Chelsea appear to be in the clear to organise a deal.
The Fiorentina star has a release clause of €35 million (£26.8 million) which makes him an attractive investment, and with rumours continuing to infer that both Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle could be moved on from Stamford Bridge this month, Mourinho could well find it a proposition too attractive to turn down.
Yet for the moment at least it seems like it’s the powers that be at the club, along with sponsors Adidas, who are most keen to see a transfer arranged. If the rumours are true, and Cuadrado was indeed in attendance last night at Anfield, it could be of huge significance, and perhaps stands as a telling indication of his own stance on the matter.
With the 26-year-old having only penned a new contract with his Serie A outfit in October Chelsea will certainly have to pay full whack to get him. Whether or not they’ll wait until the summer to do so remains to be seen.