Monday 19 February 2018

Mourinho planning 'victory tour' for Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says an end-of-season tour to Japan 'would make some sense'. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says an end-of-season tour to Japan 'would make some sense'. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire

Jeremy Wilson

Chelsea are on a collision course with several national associations after Jose Mourinho revealed yesterday that he wants to reward his players with a celebratory tour if they win the Premier League.

Mourinho had been asked how he might 'treat' himself if he did win a third Premier League title in five full seasons working in England and replied that he would like to take the players away for a week.

"I think we'll go on an after-season tour, play a couple of matches in some destination where people will be very enthusiastic to have the Premier League champions," he said.

"It's something we are thinking about, a good way to celebrate. Not a victory parade, a trip where we play a couple of matches but, at the same time, can be together without the pressure of winning every match, without the pressure and tension of the last weeks of the Premier League.

"We can relax and go to holidays with a good feeling. But we still have nine games to play."

Asked about the possibility of Japan - Chelsea have a £200m shirt deal with Yokohama Rubber - Mourinho said: "I don't know, but that would make some sense. Mr Bruce Buck (the Chelsea chairman) and the board are talking with me."


The idea is still very much in an embryonic stage and the compatibility with international schedules would have to be carefully considered.

The Premier League season ends on May 24 and it is understood that Chelsea would be looking to go away on the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

Other players will still be involved in the FA Cup final on May 30 and the Champions League final on June 6 and then there are the international fixtures.

England play the Republic of Ireland on June 7 and have a Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania on June 14.

Other European nations play on similar dates, while the Copa America starts on June 11.

FIFA rules state that players must be available for international call-ups at least four days prior to a Euro 2016 qualifier and two days before a friendly. For a tournament, the preparation period is two weeks.

It all means that Chelsea's South American players - notably Oscar, Ramires, Willian and Juan Cuadrado - would almost certainly be unable to take part in any celebration tour.

Diego Costa's availability could also be a sensitive subject after he missed recent international matches for Spain. He returns to Chelsea's squad for today's match against Stoke. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Chelsea v Stoke City, live, Setanta, 3.00pm

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