Monday, January 16, 2017

Important to keep Chelsea squad together – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho stated that the most important objective in the transfer window will be keeping Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning squad together rather than making additions.

Chelsea won the title at a canter in 2014-15, finishing eight points clear of previous champions Manchester City.

Manager Mourinho has already started making plans for next season and hopes two or three players will arrive at Stamford Bridge before the start of the next campaign.

However, the Portuguese says his priority is on retaining the services of his current crop of stars.

“The players I am looking for are my players, the players I want to keep. Last season I had players I wanted to sell,” he said at a news conference in Bangkok, where Chelsea will meet a Thailand All-Stars XI in an end-of-season friendly.

“How can I find a better striker than Diego Costa? A better midfielder than Nemanja Matic? A better right-back than Branislav Ivanovic?

“Our squad this season was very good. We didn’t have many injuries. We had three players play 38 matches of the Premier League.

“If you come to a champion team you are not a big name. The big names are the champions.

“Our squad this season was very good. We didn’t have many injuries. We had three players play 38 matches of the Premier League.

“We like the players, we are happy with the players. Two or three are always coming to the club, that’s normal.”

Mourinho again sounded out a warning to his squad that Chelsea’s rivals will come back stronger and that the Londoners have to raise their game next season.

He added: “It’s very difficult to win back-to-back titles. We know all the big clubs – Liverpool, Tottenham, Man United, Man City and Arsenal – are not happy and they will try to react, so obviously we need to be better next season than we were this season.

“The league is so competitive so we need to start with the same motivation and desire as we did at the beginning of this season.”

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