Jose Mourinho says he would sell any player who no longer wanted to play for Chelsea – even Eden Hazard.
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling
was this week told by Brendan Rodgers he will not leave for any price this summer, whether or not he signs a new contract.
Mourinho did not comment on the specifics of the Sterling case when asked for his view at his weekly press conference, but he claimed even Hazard – “the best player in the Premier League” – would have to go if he was unhappy.
“I don’t like players that don’t want to play for me and my club, clearly,” he said. “Every player has a price. It doesn’t matter which player.
“If you ask me now, for example, Eden Hazard; we can speak about him because he’s signed a new contract. Do I want him to leave Chelsea? No. If he wants to leave, if he doesn’t want to work with me, if he doesn’t want to play for Chelsea, does Eden Hazard have a price? I think he has a price.
“He’s the best player in the Premier League, so I go to the best as an example.
“I also understand the philosophy of managers and clubs who want to keep the players at any price, who want just to say, ‘there is no price to sell – the player stays, whatever’. My philosophy is not better than that – it’s just different.”
The message from Mourinho was clear: the final decision is his, although he did hint an exception might be made in the case of Petr Cech should the long-serving goalkeeper move on in the summer.
Cech has lost his regular place to Thibaut Courtois and has been linked with several of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Mourinho vetoed Demba Ba’s loan move to Arsenal in the summer of 2013 after deciding the Gunners were potential title rivals, but he said: “Petr Cech is not a player – he’s an institution.
“Ten years in goal, going through everything he went through, great moments and sad moments, dying on the pitch.
“Chelsea gave him a lot, but for what he is giving to the club still, he deserves a special perspective. I think he won the right to be part of a discussion and a decision.