Football: Mourinho not gloating after Pedro spurned Man United for his Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • As Jose Mourinho seeks to succeed in his chase for Everton's central defender John Stones, the Chelsea manager refused to label Pedro's arrival as a victory over rivals Manchester United.

Despite manager Louis van Gaal insisting that the club were not interested in Pedro, United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward had travelled to Spain to hold talks with the forward.

Pedro, however, chose to leave the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge but Mourinho refused to gloat and opted to focus on the player's hunger for game time.

"This week, we got a very good young left-back (Baba Rahman who arrived from Augsburg) with potential and one of the best attacking players in the world," the Portuguese told a press conference yesterday ahead of his side's Premier League clash at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.

"(Pedro) wants to play every game. He has won everything, playing with (Lionel) Messi, (Andres) Iniesta and all these stars and he wants more. I am happy with that kind of attitude.

SPOTLIGHT SHOULD BE ON PLAYER

I don't want to say we won, (Manchester) United lost - that's not the point.

It's a moment for Pedro to enjoy a different step.

JOSE MOURINHO on Pedro's acquisition

"I don't want to say we won, (Manchester) United lost - that's not the point. It's a moment for Pedro to enjoy a different step."

Both Pedro and Rahman will travel to the Hawthorns where goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will start after serving a one-match ban.

Mourinho also indicated that skipper John Terry, substituted at half-time in their 0-3 defeat by Manchester City last weekend, will be back in the first XI.

Stones has been earmarked as a long-term replacement for the 34-year-old Terry but Mourinho refused to discuss a possible fourth bid for the defender.

Chelsea have had offers of £20 million (S$44 million), £26 million and, on Monday, £30 million turned down by the Toffees.

"Let's see what happens. I don't speak about players from other clubs when the championship has started," Mourinho said.

Despite Chelsea's interest, Everton manager Roberto Martinez maintains that he has no concerns about Stones' focus ahead of their "huge game" at home to City.

The Spaniard also refused to be drawn on speculation that the 21-year-old England international had submitted a transfer request, although club officials maintain that that is not the case.

"Our focus is only the games," Martinez said. "In my eyes, City are the sharpest team in the league and our focus is on preparing for that.

"Of course, we're trying to work as hard as we can for a couple of additions but even those we are not going to comment on.

Everton expect to complete the £6 million signing of River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori in the next 24 hours. They remain interested in Dynamo Kiev's £14 million-rated winger Andriy Yarmolenko.

REUTERS, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Mourinho not gloating after Pedro spurned Man United'. Print Edition | Subscribe