Paul Pogba's appearance in west London, just a "stone's throw away" from Stamford Bridge, has caused speculation as to the player's future, as reported by Ashley Clements of the Daily Mail:
"When a fan asked the French youngster if he would be signing for Jose Mourinho's side, Pogba chuckled," writes Clements. Pogba posed for a number of photos and caused conflicting reactions from those who bumped into the powerful midfielder:
Just see Paul Pogba in Chelsea. He better not be signing 4 them lol pic.twitter.com/kT5OJzSgJc— Montana (@fivestarLR) July 10, 2014
Just met Pogba, told me he's coming Chelski bluddd 🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/whMgis2sWh— ZH (@zaeeemh) July 10, 2014
The Frenchman's link to Chelsea continues to crop up. He was previously spotted playing Football Manager 2014 as the Blues, as reported by Oliver Todd of the Daily Mail. He was pictured buying himself for Jose Mourinho's club, as noted by TweetChelseaFC:
While reports shouldn't necessarily swell due to the aforementioned occurrences, he continues to be linked with a tenure in the English capital. Although Manchester United are said to be in "pole position" when trying to re-sign their former talent, Chelsea appear very much in the running alongside Manchester City, as reported by L'Equipe (h/t Charles Reynolds of the Independent).
Real Madrid are also said to be considering a move for the powerful youngster, as noted again by L'Equipe (h/t Marca). He would certainly add quality to any of the sides mentioned, but for Chelsea he would represent an interesting partner for the newly acquired Cesc Fabregas, who is set to take control of Mourinho's midfield when the new season begins.
A potential Pogba arrival could see him link up with Didier Drogba, who is being touted for a move back to the club at which he is considered a legend, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail:
The 36-year-old has interest from clubs in Qatar while Juventus continue to flirt with the idea of taking him to Turin. Yet Jose Mourinho has a strong relationship with the Ivorian and is interested in the idea of him taking on a player-coach role.
Mourinho likes to rely on experienced professionals with whom he has enjoyed success—highlighted by John Terry's and Petr Cech's continued presence in the side—suggesting Drogba's reappearance could relieve some pressure from Chelsea's younger players.
Back in March, Mourinho indicated Drogba could return, saying, "I think it has to happen one day. When, I don't know—as a player, as a coach, as an ambassador—next year, in four or five years, in 10 years—I don't know," per Sky Sports.
He is still a capable goalscorer—netting 12 goals in 32 appearances for Galatasaray last season, per WhoScored.com—and can help matters both on and off the pitch. As a mentor for developing talents such as Pogba, the Ivorian's wealth of experience at the club may come to the fore.
James Horncastle of BT Sport suggests Pogba will only leave if Juventus manage to keep hold of Arturo Vidal, who is currently linked with a move to Manchester United:
@Samad24_7 that said, indications are Juventus might sell one of Pogba or Vidal [not both] only at right price, so situation could change.— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 10, 2014
Who will Paul Pogba play for next season?
As such, Mourinho may wish to strike a deal quickly. Louis van Gaal's interest in Vidal continues to dominate transfer speculation and may lead to Juve closing shop in the near future. Considering United have reportedly struck a deal to sell Patrice Evra to the Old Lady, per Simon Stone of BBC Sport, the Red Devils may have an advantage when landing their midfielder of choice.
It wouldn't be beyond Mourinho to work something in Chelsea's favour. The Portuguese manager continues to improve his squad with smart signings, none more so than Fabregas, as the Blues look to secure their first Premier League title since 2009-10.
Pogba would provide the power to Cesc's technical ability and could look extremely menacing alongside Nemanja Matic. Chelsea will have a ready-made star on their books if he can be coaxed into a transfer, someone who can prop the side's midfield up for the next decade if he continues to develop at the current rate.