Mourinho denies transfer links, still thinks same 6 are in title hunt

Jose Mourinho Chelsea

Jose Mourinho addressed the media ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho denied speculation linking both Southampton’s Luke Shaw and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney with a January move to Stamford Bridge.

Rooney was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout last summer with a report in the Daily Mirror this morning suggesting the Blues could make a fresh bid – which was met with laughter by the Chelsea boss.

The Daily Telegraph has reported this morning that Chelsea could bid £20m for the services of teenager Shaw from Southampton.

But speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, Mourinho said: ‘The market is open in January but I don’t think we will be buying or selling. At the end of the season Chelsea will be analysing the situation.’

Mourinho also dismissed speculation linking David Luiz – who returned to the Chelsea line up against Steaua Bucharest in midweek – with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with yet more reports surfacing that Barcelona are interested in signing the Brazilian centre back.

‘He has a long term contract with us. At this moment everything is clear. He is our player and we are so happy he is back.’

The Chelsea boss said that Cesar Azpilicueta will start at left-back ahead of Ashley Cole in tomorrow’s game with Crystal Palace – with the view of keeping Cole fresh for the Capital One Cup quarter final against Sunderland.

‘I have two number-one left-backs in Cole and Azpilicueta. I trust both and it is good to have options.

He also revealed that Ryan Bertrand has been injured and not been able to train for two weeks.

Mourinho also explained some of the reasons behind inconsistencies at the club as he tries to get this Chelsea side to play the way he wants to. He cited last season under Rafael Benitez as a reason but insisted it wasn’t a criticism given the position the Spaniard was in.

‘The last manager knew he wasn’t the next manager for the next year and he was chasing results and he was not worried about building up a team of a certain style because he knew he wasn’t here the next year.’

And on the subject of the title race the Chelsea boss still thinks the Champions will come from one of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United – though he did acknowledge the difficulty United would have winning the league from 13 points behind and ninth position.

‘I think it is difficult not just because its 13 to arsenal but also it is because it’s 8 to us and to Liverpool and seven to City. They have to recover points not to one single team, they have to against every other team.’

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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