The Daily Mail reports that the Inter Milan captain has been linked with a move to Chelsea following a lack of talks over his expiring contract.
Zanetti – who turns 41 in the summer – was a key player in Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter Milan side in 2010, and it is thought that the Portuguese boss may be willing to offer him a short-term playing deal, with the chance of moving into a coaching role afterwards.
The attacking fullback has been at Inter Milan since 1995, making more than 600 competitive appearances for the Nerazzurri. Making just three Serie A starts so far this campaign, however, it remains to be seen whether the Italian club has any intention of offering their long-serving fans-favourite a new deal in the summer.
When hearing upon the reports linking him with a move to Cheslea, Zanetti spoke of his special relationship with his former boss, but reminded fans that he considers Inter Milan his home:
He said: 'I have a great relationship with Mourinho. We often chat, but we never talked about these things. I think the fans of Inter know how I feel about this shirt.
'I have always said to myself that Inter is my life, my house and my desire is to stay here. Say no more'.
With Mourinho already under some pressure from the Chelsea hierarchy to move on some of his squad who are in their '30s, it's difficult to see why he would now put someone in his 40s on a playing contract. The more likely scenario, however, is that Zanetti joins up with Mourinho in a coaching / support role once he has decided to retire as a player.
image: © Jason Bagley