Paul Pogba Transfer Move to Chelsea Unlikely Unless Jose Mourinho is Selling

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

France's Paul Pogba celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

It's a time of change at Stamford Bridge this summer.

Chelsea legends Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have already departed as Jose Mourinho continues to reshape his squad, showing there is little place for sentiment in his pursuit of glory

And if the Chelsea boss is going to make good on the rumours concerning the transfer of Paul Pogba, per the Daily Mail, more familiar faces will have to be shown the exit door.

Chelsea simply do not have the room to accommodate more midfielders.

The Blues have already added Cesc Fabregas to their squad this month, not to mention the capture of 19-year-old Croatian Mario Pasalic on Wednesday.

Those two players alone will be competing for a place in midfield alongside Ramires, Nemanja Matic, John Obi Mikel and Marco van Ginkel.

In the attacking midfield areas, Chelsea boast the talents of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Willian.

They're well stocked, with a youth team full of budding young midfield stars also itching for a chance to impress.

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

Adding Pogba to the equation gives Mourinho more problems than it solves, namely where he would play.

The Frenchman doesn't occupy the attacking midfield areas like Hazard and Chelsea's other forward-thinking midfielders, so unless Mourinho makes radical changes to his system, Pogba will be purchased with the intention of playing him in the pivot.

Operating in that area will undoubtedly be Fabregas, too, so who would Mourinho opt to play alongside his best defensive midfielder, Matic?

It would be a bold move to opt for both Pogba and Fabregas as first choice, leaving Chelsea without a player to break up opposition attacks and protect the back four—a role neither of the pair are particularly au fait with.

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Matic's return to Stamford Bridge in January brought balance to Chelsea's midfield. Mikel had failed to impress up to that point, while Lampard was never going to be transformed into the player Chelsea needed.

The Serbian was the answer to their problems and will remain the long-term solution, with a more skillful partner to get them moving forward.

In the same way Mourinho is attempting to build his attack around Hazard, the pivot is somewhere Matic reigns supreme for the role he plays.

Nick Wass/Associated Press

He has endured various partners, with Ramires and Lampard most common in the second half of 2013-14. With the latter already departed, Ramires would have to be the next casualty to make room for Pogba.

From a promising start to his Chelsea career, Ramires has the look of a player in decline—at Stamford Bridge, at least.

The energetic displays remain, yet they seem to come with less composure these days, and his impact in games hasn't been what it should be for a Chelsea midfielder.

Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Injecting the youth and talent of Pogba would certainly feel like an upgrade on Ramires, but the pair can't coexist at Chelsea.

It's a case of too many cooks, and right now Mourinho has more than his fair share of them.

Regardless of Ramires, he must also decide what the future holds for Mikel, a player who has flattered to deceive for much of Chelsea career.

Mourinho has bought wisely this summer, but before he dips his toe into the transfer market again, he needs to ensure some of Chelsea's deadwood is cleared out.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes


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