Jose Mourinho has been discussing a subject he rates as not worthy of much debate – the future beyond this season of three of his most senior players.
The manager was asked in the build-up to this weekend’s action about John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, all of whom have contracts ending in the summer. It isn’t the case that Mourinho has limited interest in what will happen beyond then; his admiration for the players is clearly in no doubt. It is simply that he believes matters are progressing along a natural and healthy course.
‘It is a situation that doesn’t worry me, doesn’t worry the club and I think it doesn’t worry the players,’ Mourinho said.
‘We want them to play this season, we want them to show that they can still make an important contribution to the team and we want them not to be worried. We want them to feel free to express themselves and to enjoy these last years of their careers.
‘At the same time they also want us not to be worried,’ he added, considering January when a player in the final year of his contract is free to agree to join another club for the following season.
‘We know that even being at the end of their contracts they want to stay here, so they are not looking to other clubs, they won’t make a surprise for us in January. It is trust, it is a relationship, it is a stable situation.’
Mourinho explained that before the end of the season, the club will sit down with the players, offers will be on the table and they can decide then what to do.
‘Everything is very calm,’ he said. ‘Probably last season was more complicated. John Terry was not playing, Frank Lampard was almost signing a contract with LA Galaxy and he was also not feeling important in the team, and feeling important is not about playing every game, it is about other things.
‘At the moment the situation is very clear. They trust the club, we trust the players and for sure, without conflict, the best decision for us and for them will be taken.’
Mourinho spoke to the players in pre-season, explaining the situation he is now making public and communication continues, emphasising the respect between them which the manager emphasises does not mean he hesitates to leave them out the side when the moment is right, and nor do such decisions damage the relationship.
It is what they do when they are asked to play or how they perform in training that continues to drive his thinking.
‘They are showing they have more to give,’ he reported. ‘The players more than in any other place speak on the pitch, and when they speak on the pitch you can listen, or you can see it.
Is Ryan Giggs the same player he was 10 years ago? I don’t think he is. Is he a top player? Yes he is. Is he important in Man United? Yes. Is he respected there? Yes. Has he a five-year contract as a player? No, and no problems.
‘These Chelsea players don’t have to be told they are important and have a role to play. I think they feel it, no doubts!’
– Fans can now send a personalised Chelsea FC Christmas e-card to their friends and families.
– A clip of Jose Mourinho talking to Chelsea TV about today’s game versus Crystal Palace can be viewed above with the full interview available now via the channel’s online access.