Saturday 20 January 2018

Mourinho wants competition in squad

Jose Mourinho wants his Chelsea players to rise to the challenge of fighting for their places
Jose Mourinho wants his Chelsea players to rise to the challenge of fighting for their places

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told Fernando Torres and the rest of his squad to see the competition for places as a challenge.

The Blues completed a three-match tour of Asia with an 8-1 win over BNI Indonesia All-Stars in Jakarta and Romelu Lukaku scored twice to take his tour tally to four.

Mourinho is happy with his squad and his sole remaining transfer target is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney - a bid was rejected last week - in a move which would cast doubt on Torres' future.

The World Cup-winning Spain forward missed the Asia tour after being granted a break following the Confederations Cup, but along with Juan Mata, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Obi Mikel, David Luiz and Oscar, will join up with the Chelsea squad on Monday ahead of four matches in the United States as preparations for the new season continue in earnest.

"I think Fernando should be happy because we have competition in the team and I think that is good for everybody in every position," Mourinho said.

"Fernando I think will be pleased because during his time at Chelsea he was basically the only striker and then after that there was the arrival of (Demba) Ba in January.

"Now the team has three strikers and I think that is good."

A fourth could follow if a deal can be agreed for Rooney, but there have been no developments, Mourinho said.

The Portuguese added: "At this moment we have made what you know; that bid which was public and official and after that nothing else.

"But we are calm as we told you that we are calm because we are happy with what we have."

Midfielder Frank Lampard will resume training next week, having toured Asia without kicking a ball against hostile opposition due to an Achilles problem.

Andre Schurrle missed Thursday night's game with a knock and Kevin de Bruyne returned to London following last Sunday's Malaysia match due to a knee problem, but both will train with the squad next week, too.

Mourinho said: "There is nothing big. They should all be training with the team plus the six guys who will arrive."

Captain John Terry struggled for full fitness for periods of last season, but started all three games in Asia.

Mourinho added: "He played well and trained very well and never missed one minute of any training session.

"That is very important because he is a very important player for us. I am very happy with him."

Press Association

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