‘My strikers can’t score!’ Chelsea boss Mourinho caught criticising Torres and questioning Eto’o’s age on French TV
Jose Mourinho arrived in Istanbul on Monday night livid that remarks he made in a private conversation which undermine his strikers had been secretly filmed and broadcast.
Mourinho was caught in conversation with the boss of Swiss watch-makers Hublot, explaining that Chelsea did not have anyone to score goals.
He joked that Samuel Eto’o was probably older than 32 and hinted that an ideal solution may be to sign Radamel Falcao because the Colombian deserved a bigger audience than he had at Monaco.
Caught out: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, pictured here arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport on Monday, has been filmed criticising the ability of his strikers
Getting on: Mourinho joked that 32-year-old forward Samuel Eto’o (middle) might actually be 35
Superstar: Mourinho hinted that he’d like to sign Radamel Falcao, who joined French side Monaco for £50million last summer
Still smiling: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, pictured arriving in Istanbul on Monday night, has scored just four Premier League goals this season.
‘The problem with Chelsea is I lack a scorer,’ said Mourinho (right), speaking in French. ‘I have Eto’o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?’
On Falcao, signed from Atletico Madrid for £50million last year and understood to be among Chelsea’s top targets, he added: ‘I need a striker. Falcao needs a club. A player like him cannot play in front of 3,000 people. Monaco is a club to end (your career with).’
The inference is clear for Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba ahead of Wednesday’s last-16 Champions League first leg against Galatasaray.
The conversation was recorded by French broadcasters Canal+ in Switzerland on February 17 and appeared as a video clip on their website. It has since been removed but Mourinho’s words had already been well circulated, much to his embarrassment.
The incident has darkened his mood on the eve of a reunion with Didier Drogba, the Galatasaray striker and Chelsea legend of the first Mourinho era. Drogba left Stamford Bridge in 2012 and the club have yet to replace his immense presence.
Oblivious: Brazilians David Luiz and Willian both listening to music as they arrive in Istanbul
Rare sight: Eto’o has only managed six top-flight goals since joining Mourinho at Chelsea last summer
Danger man: Falcao was in fine goalscoring form for Monaco before damaging knee ligaments in January
Can’t look: Torres reacts after missing an opportunity to score against Everton on Saturday
Galatasaray have already expressed a desire to keep him in Istanbul beyond this summer but Drogba, who turns 36 next month, says his passion for Chelsea remains undiminished and he has not ruled out a return if he receives an offer when he becomes a free agent in June.
When asked during an interview with Sportsmail if he could come back to the Premier League, Drogba said: ‘If, and I say if, by any chance it could happen, it would only be with one team.
‘My contract ends this summer and then I will decide what is the best solution for me. But I had a great time at Chelsea and if Jose was saying, “Didier, I want you to come back”, I would think about it.’
Friends reunited: Chelsea will face their former striker Didier Drogba in Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Galatasaray
Return? Drogba has admitted he would consider coming back to Chelsea to work under Mourinho again
Mourinho flew into Turkey with few other problems ahead of Wednesday’s tie in the Turk Telekom Arena.
David Luiz, Oscar and Ramires all travelled with minor knocks, and will have tests today. Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are both cup-tied.