London: Chelsea will not sign a new striker in the January transfer window, according to their manager Jose Mourinho.
The club has been heavily linked with a number of Europe’s top strikers over recent weeks, most notably Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain. But Mourinho said Napoli could not be persuaded to sell Higuain, and that his current front three — Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’ and Demba Ba was adequate.
“A striker! 100 per cent no,” Mourinho replied on Friday when asked if Chelsea would be active in the transfer market this month. “It is not a priority, it is not an option. We have three. The market is open, but for us, it is almost closed.”
Torres, Eto’ and Ba have all struggled at various points this season. None of them have scored more than three Premier League goals, but Mourinho is prepared to keep faith with them going into Saturday’s FA Cup tie.
“We are happy with the squad we have,” he said. “This squad is good enough for my first season. If we can improve the squad to prepare for the next season, we will do that. But we know where we are. We know what we need for the future.”
On Higuain, Mourinho said: “He’s a player that I know we cannot get. He’s a player who moved from Real Madrid to Napoli six months ago.
“He’s adapting very well to Italy, and Napoli is a club that normally doesn’t sell. They want to win the Scudetto and the Europa League. I don’t believe they are interested in selling Higuain.”
One player that appears to be on his way out, if the price is right, is Kevin de Bruyne. Mourinho confirmed that two clubs had bid for the midfielder, who is seeking a move after a difficult start to his Chelsea career.
“Kevin didn’t adapt very well to the difficult life a Chelsea player has,” Mourinho said. “People like Willian and Oscar and (Juan) Mata have a beautiful, yet difficult life at Chelsea, for which they have to pay a big price. They have to give a lot. They have to work a lot.
“Kevin is a different personality. This is the first time he comes to a club with big competition and fantastic players. And it is a bit difficult to adapt to this situation.
“So, we know that he fancies a move. But he is a fantastic player. And they are very expensive.”