Chelsea pre-match latest: Including Mourinho and Mata

Juan Mata

A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of their match against Manchester United this evening.

David Luiz is set to miss Chelsea’s match with Manchester United this evening, but Romelu Lukaku could make his first start of the season as Jose Mourinho rotates his strikers. Manchester United are likely to be without Rafael, Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young and Nani.

David Moyes has said he relishing the chance to face Chelsea at Old Trafford in his first home match in charge of Manchester United. United have only won one of their past six matches with Chelsea, and lost 1-0 at Old Trafford towards the end of last season, although they had already won the league title at that point.

Mourinho has blamed Moyes for the transfer saga surrounding Wayne Rooney this summer, suggesting that Chelsea have only pursued the striker because the Manchester United manager said he was not first choice.

"We are trying to get a player that the manager told 'you will be a second option'. We are not going for (Robin) van Persie,” he said.

"They don't have to be against me. If I say Ramires is a second option for me and he plays when (Frank) Lampard is tired or injured, if somebody comes here to get Ramires, nobody is upset."

Chelsea could be ready to give up on Rooney this summer due to United’s steadfast refusal to sell the player, and Samuel Eto’o is the striker they could turn to instead of the England international. The Anzhi Makhachkala striker is available as the Russian side tries to trim their budget, and has previously worked successfully with Mourinho at Inter.

Eto’o is the second Anzhi player that Chelsea have targeted this summer after agreeing to sign Willian subject to a work permit. The arrival of the Brazilian playmaker has cast further doubt over Juan Mata’s future at Stamford Bridge, and there are reports that Arsenal are considering a bid for the Spaniard. Arsenal were close to signing Mata before he joined Chelsea in 2011.

Another player who is being linked with a move from Chelsea after Willian’s arrival is Victor Moses, with reports that Liverpool are keen to sign the winger on a season-long loan. Moses has yet to make a competitive appearance under Mourinho, and Chelsea’s surfeit of attacking midfielders mean he is unlikely to feature regularly this season.

On HITC today we look at Mourinho’s comments about Rooney, and we round up the latest transfer news relating to the Blues.

image: © Wshjackson

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