CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho says his conflict with the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, are a thing of the past as he prepares to launch his team’s Premier League title defence.
Mourinho left Stamford Bridge under a cloud in 2007 little more than a year after landing successive titles but was lured back in 2013 and duly delivered the top domestic prize in May.
Despite a difference of opinion over the sale of goalkeeper Petr Cech to rivals Arsenal, and the suspicion that he would like to have been granted greater transfer funds this summer, Mourinho insists he and the Russian billionaire are now in unison.
“In my first period, my personal relationship [with Abramovich] was very good [but] professionally we had some interferences and a bit of a disagreement with some ideas,” said Mourinho. “In this moment we don’t have this problem.”
Mourinho has been afforded just two signings this transfer window – back-up goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and on-loan striker Radamel Falcao – while a replacement for departed left-back Filipe Luis is also due.
The Blues boss has been eager to highlight the expenditure of chief competitors such as Arsenal and returned to the theme yesterday when outlining his vision for the new season’s title race.
“In the end history plays a part and investment plays a part,” he said. “Chelsea [were] four times champion in the last decade. Arsenal are a fantastic club with great players. Liverpool have amazing investment. Man City is a squad to love and a club with two Premier Leagues in the last four or five years. And Man United with everything: the history, the players, the investment.”
Chelsea, who lost Sunday’s Community Shield to the Gunners, host Fiorentina tonight in their final pre-season match.
Striker Dominic Solanke, 17, meanwhile, has become the fifth Blues player this summer to join Dutch club Vitesse on loan.