While the first arrival of Jose Mourinho’s second coming as Chelsea boss – Germany winger-cum-forward Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen – has got Blues fans frothing at the mouth, potential transfer activity out of Stamford Bridge has the faithful on edge.
But is it feasible that Chelsea could show the exit door to two of their most valuable assets? And if so, would either player be particularly receptive to a switch away from the club ahead of a new, exciting era in west London?
Mata was sensational last season, collecting the player of the year award as he established himself as the best playmaker in the Premier League and one of the most talented footballers in Europe. At first glance, he could be key to Mourinho’s reign this time around, filling the role that Wesley Sneijder and Mesut Ozil carried out so well in the Portuguese’s spells at Inter and Real Madrid, respectively.
And it appears the ex-Valencia midfielder has no plans to quit pulling the strings at Stamford Bridge, denying that he has been told by Mourinho to find another club. Speaking to Marca, the 25-year-old said: “Nobody at Chelsea has told me that Mourinho wants me out… I have three years left on my contract. I’m very happy with Chelsea.”
Ex-Benfica man Luiz however has opted to adopt a more flirtatious demeanour. Like his teammate Mata, the buccaneering defender-turned-midfielder enjoyed a truly landmark campaign, transforming himself from unpredictable headless chicken to an extremely useful and versatile asset in the Chelsea squad.
However, earlier this month Luiz refused to discuss either his Blues future or his relationship with Mourinho, as reported in The Sun, sparking fears he could be among the first casualties of the manager’s ruthless nature. Those worries have been magnified this week, with the 26-year-old apparently playing transfer footsie with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Luiz, who can count several of his compatriots among PSG’s ranks, told Telefoot: “I’m talking a lot about PSG and its project with Brazilian players. The club made a good job in Ligue 1, and they have a very good players.” Meanwhile, the Daily Mirrorsuggests that the moneybags French side would be interested in Luiz – though those above Mourinho in the Chelsea hierarchy are believed to consider him a future club captain when John Terry hangs up his boots.
If either player does leave Stamford Bridge, it will not be down to tactical reasons. Mourinho will be delighted to have either man in his team, and their possible departures are financially motivated. Ultimately though, the wisest action may be to stick rather than twist.
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