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Blues foiled in Martinez pursuit


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With Juan Mata's imminent departure to Manchester United for a whopping £37 million filling up the Chelsea coffers, it is clear that there will be funds for José Mourinho to further bolster his squad.

However, according to the Daily Star, one of Mourinho's priority targets - Jackson Martinez - looks set to snub a move to the Premier League after being offered a lucrative new deal to stay at the Portuguese club. Martinez, who was also being monitored by Arsenal, has impressed with 15 goals already this season. Mourinho will now have to look elsewhere.

One player who was also high on Mourinho's list over the summer was Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, but the Daily Mirror are reporting that Chelsea's sale of Mata to United will actually encourage the England star to stay. Rooney has gone on record in recent times to express his dismay at a lack of stellar signings arriving at Old Trafford, but the transfer of Mata is said to have opened up contract talks between the club and player.

However, despite these rumoured rebuttals, the British newspapers are this morning full of supposed incomings at Stamford Bridge.

Foremost amongst those rumours is Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah, who netted three goals in four appearances against the Blues in 2013, including the winner in the most recent encounter between the two sides. Salah is a hard-working player able to operate either out wide or as a number 10, and would offer an excellent squad option for Mourinho as he looks to replace Mata on the Chelsea bench. Liverpool are also rumoured to be highly interested, but it is imagined the Blues will be able to out-do any financial offer the Merseysiders can offer.

Another such name being bandied about is England international Ross Barkley, who has been the stand-out player at Everton this season. Mourinho is said to be concerned about the lack of homegrown players in the Chelsea squad, whilst believing Barkley's natural box-to-box style would compliment the Blues' system more so than that of Juan Mata.

It is the broadsheet The Telegraph that has brought this rumour to light - and they also suggest that the Blues may return to an early transfer target in Fredy Guarian should they fail to secure a midfielder from elsewhere. Guarin, who is rated at £8 million, saw a move to Juventus break down last week.

Twitter was awash with rumours that the Blues would use the funds from Juan Mata's transfer to trigger Diego Costa's release clause, but The Express has quashed this - though, quoting Atletico Madrid boss Diego SImeone's recent television interview with Cuatro, it is believed Atletico may be willing to part with the player if his £32 million buy-out clause is met.

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