Mourinho denies Reus interest as Blues bid for European progress

Ross McLean
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Jose Mourinho has denied Chelsea hold an interest in signing Dortmund’s Marco Reus
CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho has quashed speculation linking the Stamford Bridge club with a move for Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus as his side bid to seal Champions League progress against Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke tonight.

Reus, who is ruled out until the new year after tearing ankle ligaments at the weekend, is yet to sign a contract extension with the German side, which has alerted clubs across Europe.

A repeat of last season’s 3-0 demolition of Schalke in Gelsenkirchen would see Chelsea guarantee their place in the Champions League knockout phase, with the Blues requiring two points from their remaining two Group G fixtures to secure progress.

While Mourinho says he is not prepared to entertain a pursuit for 25-year-old Reus, he is hopeful Chelsea can ease the burden of a congested December programme, which includes eight fixtures in all competitions, by resolving their immediate European future.

“We don’t want Marco Reus,” said Mourinho. “The market is closed and the player belongs to Borussia. We have top players in his position.

“We have two matches to qualify but obviously it will be better for us to qualify tonight. We have so many matches in December so it’s better if you can qualify and avoid that pressure.

“Obviously that would be very good for us but the reality is we need points and we will try and do that. Going into the Europa League would be very bad, very bad for the team because a team gets better and the evolution gets faster when you play in the best competitions against the best teams.”

Ex-Stamford Bridge manager Di Matteo, who made 175 appearances as a player for the club, boasts a perfect home record since taking charge of Schalke last month and victory would see his side draw level with Chelsea at the group’s summit.

Di Matteo led Chelsea to the continent’s greatest football prize when the Blues defied the odds to overcome Bayern Munich in their own back yard before being sacked six months later, but the Italian insists his motives are not defined by retribution.

“Beating Chelsea would mean three points and a good position in the group, nothing else,” he said. “I have no sentiment for revenge. I enjoyed a wonderful time there with many people, and that’s it.”