Mourinho open to working with striker again - £40m move on the cards?

Mario Balotelli playing for AC Milan

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has refused to play down rumours linking the Blues with a move for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

The Blues manager will almost certainly be in the market for a new striker this summer after underwhelming contributions from the likes of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres, and a number of big names have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, including Falcao from AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, but there have been recurring links to former Manchester City striker Balotelli.

The 23-year-old spent a somewhat volatile two-and-a-half year spell at the Etihad Stadium, and became one of the most controversial figures in the Premier League for his off-field antics and persistent arguing with manager Roberto Mancini, but you couldn't deny that the Italian international had talent – he scored 30 goals in 80 games for City, and has since gone on to hit a stunning 26 goals in just 41 games for AC Milan.

But Balotelli was recently the victim of racist abuse during a game for the Rossoneri, and is reportedly considering leaving Italy as a result – and one of the natural connections was to Chelsea, where his former Inter manager Mourinho is currently working, and 'The Special One' refused to play down speculation of a move to West London for Balotelli.

"In football you never know the future," Mourinho said. "Balotelli is with a big club at the moment but you never know the future. They want to keep the best players and want to keep the best Italian players. But Mario has already been in English football before. I'm not going to be manager of Milan or the Italy national team, but he's a good kid and somebody I'd like to work with again."

With Balotelli potentially interested in a move back to England, and Mourinho open to working with the enigmatic striker, should Chelsea fork out around £40m to bring him to Stamford Bridge?

image: © Dan Heap

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