Jose Mourinho has mocked the comments of Roberto Martinez after the Everton manager took exception to Chelsea’s public pursuit of John Stones.
Premier League champions Chelsea have seen an initial bid for England international Stones, reported to be worth £20m, rejected – but are expected to test Everton’s desire to hang on to the player with a second offer.
Martinez voiced his displeasure at Chelsea’s interest in Stones being made public and insisted his club have no intention of selling.
Yet Chelsea boss Mourinho, who had previously said “it’s an open market until September 1st” is baffled by his rival’s anger.
“Next year we are going to make the first bid on the 1st of September [when the transfer window is closed],” Mourinho said sarcastically.
“On the 1st of September we will do a bid for the season later. Because at this moment, until the 31st of August, it is closed. The market is closed.
“We are all in a strange world. We think it is open but it is not open. It is closed. So on the 1st of September we are going to make a bid for the next season.”
Mourinho went on to risk further irking Martinez, referring to Everton as a “smaller club”.
“It’s a good market,” he continued. “That’s why smaller clubs, if they have interesting young English players, they use that in the right way for them.
“I don’t criticise them. They play the market for themselves. If the big clubs don’t want to go over certain limits, they have to make a decision.”
Much has been made of the inflated price of young English players, yet Mourinho added: “That is the market now. You only pay it if you want to.
“If you don’t want to pay it, don’t pay. It’s as simple as that. The market has no rules or limits from season to season.”