Jose Mourinho Reveals Blueprint for Future Chelsea Transfer Targets

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2014

Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho arrives at the dugout before the start of their English Premier League soccer match against Fulham, at Craven Cottage, London, Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Chelsea will be searching for a lot more than just talent alone in their future endeavours to recruit the world's youngest superstars, according to Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese recently spoke to Esquire (h/t Daily Star's Cyrus Engineer) regarding the character he'll now be looking for in younger prospects. He commented on the temptations that now afflict budding players, a lot of which weren't an issue a decade ago:

What I feel is that before, players were trying to make money during their career, be rich at the end of their career. But in this moment, the people who surround them try to make them rich before they start their career.

They try to make them rich when they sign their first contract, when they didn't play one single match in the Premier League, when they don't know what it is to play in the Champions League. This puts the clubs in difficult conditions sometimes.

The West Londoners have seen their youth reserves swell in recent years, but Mourinho goes on to make note of the type of starlet he's now on the lookout for:

How can I stop my players on the bus doing, er, what do you call?… Twitters and these things? How can I stop them if my daughter and my son do the same? So, I have to adapt to the moment.

You have to find the right boy: the boy who wants to succeed, has pride and passion for the game. His dream is not one more million or one less million, his dream is to play at the highest level, to win titles, because if you do these things you'll be rich the same at the end of your career.

Mourinho's Chelsea currently have 28 players out on loan, according to the club's official website, the vast majority of whom are yet to play any prominent role in their parent club's first team.

Eden Hazard, whose services have been retained, was a heavy £32 million investment in 2012, but has gone on to become one of Chelsea's most important players since arriving at the club aged 21.

However, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Victor Moses and Marko Marin—the latter two of whom are currently out on loan—have been less fruitful ventures.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 26:  Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Galatasaray AS and Chelsea at Ali Sami Yen Arena on February 26, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Michael R
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Blues boss' main concerns clearly lie with the amount of money and fame that has become so commonly associated with life as a football celebrity, something he's hoping to change.

Teen stars, like Liverpool's Raheem Sterling or Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj, earn contracts worth millions of pounds in annual revenue before they have even made a substantial impact on the first team.

It is a culture that Mourinho does not encourage.

However, The Times' Gary Jacob raised the point in February that Mourinho and Chelsea also benefit financially from young players, after the Portuguese revealed some of Chelsea's younger purchases are intended for profit and not necessarily a bright, long-term future at Stamford Bridge:

It's a bold statement for the former Real Madrid, Inter and Porto chief to make, especially when one considers the amount of money that's been invested by the club in players still in their teenage years.

De Bruyne is a prime case though. He was signed for £7 million, and then sold for £18 million two years later, according to the Independent's Jack De Menezes.

Mourinho must decide on which characters can benefit the club in the way Hazard is doing, and which can boost Chelsea's coffers like De Bruyne did. Pride and passion are key criteria for the Blues boss.