While all Chelsea fans would be looking at the new Chelsea home kit, the presentation also provided an opportunity for reporters to ask Jose Mourinho about Chelsea’s plans for Damien Duff.
We know that Tottenham are interested in signing Duff. What we weren’t sure about was what Chelsea wanted, and whether they were looking to offload Duff or if he was unhappy at Stamford Bridge.
Well, now we know.
To quote Mourinho (on Duff):
“What I can say about Damien is it is not true that he didn’t play a lot last season. In fact last season he played more matches than the season before and last season he had surgery and didn’t play for a month. You cannot say the reason that there is a possible desire to leave Chelsea is because he was not playing a lot.”
“He is a player we love. He is a player we have an open relationship with and it is because of that relationship that we are thinking about all the possibilities. But for sure he is a player we are happy to keep.”
“I can repeat more or less the words I had with him. I have always in my squad a few players I want to leave. I have always a lot of players I am desperate to keep. I have always a few I would like to keep but I have no courage to keep them when I cannot promise 75 per cent of the matches.”
“The players we don’t want to keep are the players we move. The players we want very much to keep we say that. And I can give an example.”
“The example is Robben, a player we keep 100 per cent for sure.”
“Damien Duff is the type of player I like as a player and a person but I listened to him for a couple of hours and could understand what he has in his mind. But after that it becomes business and he is such a good player I don’t think he is easy business for another club.”
Translation: Duff is not happy with being behind Robben and Cole in the pecking order. He wants to be guaranteed a first-team birth and the only way that’s going to happen is outside Chelsea. And that’s where Tottenham comes in. Since it is Duff looking for a transfer (and because Mourinho isn’t averse to letting him go), Tottenham have a pretty good chance of landing the player provided they can match his wages (although it is rumoured that Duff will accept a wage cut if he were to move to Tottenham) and if they can chump up 10 mil. A fair price for one of the best natural left-wing players in the Premiership.