Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Mourinho sparks transfer rumours by lauding ‘player of the year’ Dzeko

Chelsea boss praises Bosnian as his Premier League "player of the year", suggesting a renewed interest from London club

Edin Dzeko has been a vital figure in Man City's title run-in
Edin Dzeko has been a vital figure in Man City's title run-in

JASON BURT

Jose Mourinho has opened the way for a Chelsea bid for Edin Dzeko by stating that he believes the Manchester City striker should be the Premier League "player of the year".

Chelsea have a long-standing interest in Dzeko and considered making a move for him last summer soon after Mourinho was appointed. The 28-year-old Bosnian striker has a year left on his contract so could be sold unless he agrees a new deal.

Chelsea are confident of landing Atlético Madrid's Diego Costa for £31.5 million and have also been scouting another striker, Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic, who is also wanted by Arsenal.

In praising Dzeko, Mourinho took another swipe at Liverpool striker Luis Suárez, who has been named both Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association player of the year.

Asked whether he would have voted for Suárez, Mourinho said: "He bites, not this season, the previous season. This is a different season so I'm not speaking about one mistake that a man can have, and you will have to be punished for the rest of your life if you make a mistake on the football pitch so that's not the point for me.

"My player of the year would be always from the champion, always, in every condition, always a player from the champion, representative of the champion, so if the champion is Man City – they need a point, no? – I would say a City player and if I have to choose one, I think I would choose Dzeko.

"Why? Because he was the third striker in the beginning of the season, he was even behind his manager's first choices and when the team needed him, in crucial moments of the season, or because of Agüero injuries or because of [Alvaro] Negredo's little moments of lack of form, and other important players injuring during the season – I think [David] Silva was injured, I think [Yaya] Touré was injured – he made the difference.

"He made the difference, Dzeko. In this moment, I think he has 16 goals. Sixteen goals for the third striker is something spectacular, and not just that, the quality of his game.

"So if I would choose, and also the kind of player he is, he's not just a goal-scorer, he assists, he plays, he behaves, he's fair, he doesn't dive, doesn't try to put opponents on the stands with accumulation of cards. I would choose Dzeko."

(Telegraph.co.uk)

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