Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho will give Costa time to prove fitness

By Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho will make a late decision on whether striker Diego Costa will be fit to feature for Chelsea in today's Premier League resumption against Swansea.

Costa, the £32million signing from Atletico Madrid, has scored four times in his first three games for Chelsea, but withdrew from the Spain squad during the international break with a hamstring problem.

"Diego came back injured, but that was last Saturday," Mourinho said. "He had one week to work hard with the medical department. He has a chance to play.

"We have a training session now (yesterday afternoon) to confirm his condition and to make the final decision."

Mourinho had little doubt Costa would adapt swiftly to the Premier League.

"When we bought him we were very optimistic," the Portuguese added. "We liked his profile as a player, his profile also as a person. A player (who) is also part of a team and we knew that the team was going in a certain direction and was waiting for a person like him to be there.

"His start was good. Three matches, three victories and four goals."

Loic Remy, who signed from QPR for a reported fee of £10.5million after Fernando Torres left for AC Milan on a two-year loan, is in contention to make his debut against the Swans, who like Chelsea have begun the season with three wins from three games.

Just John Terry, Didier Drogba and Mark Schwarzer of the first-team squad stayed with Chelsea during the hiatus, the trio having retired from international duty, giving Mourinho limited preparation time for Swansea.

Costa could be kept in reserve for the opening Champions League fixture at home to Schalke on Wednesday, which comes ahead of the trip to Premier League holders Manchester City.

Mourinho refuses to look beyond the visit to Stamford Bridge of Swansea, who he believes have strengthened this summer.

"In this moment it's Swansea," Mourinho said. "We have nine points, we want to have 12. If it's not possible 12, 10 at least. We go game after game.

"I don't think they lost one of their most important players. They bought and they bought well. They invest seriously and they bought quality players."

Chelsea's own transfer activity was considered a major success in the purchases of Costa, Remy, Cesc Fabregas, Felipe Luis and Drogba.

"My club did an amazing job," said Mourinho, who dismissed reports of a January move for Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph