Jose set for Chelsea unveiling
Jose Mourinho has dropped some early hints about the shape of his Stamford Bridge squad for next season as he prepares to be unveiled as Chelsea boss for the second time.
Mourinho's latest reign will begin in earnest after media formalities on Monday and the 50-year-old will waste no time getting to work with the future of stars like John Terry and David Luiz top of the agenda. But Mourinho appears to have already decided Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne will be part of his thinking after telling both they will not be allowed to go back out on loan.
Lukaku, who impressed at West Brom, said this week: "I have had a good conversation with Jose Mourinho, and I know it's up to me to show I'm worth a place. I always said my ambition was to play for Chelsea, and now I will go back to Stamford Bridge and play even more games than I did at West Brom."
Meanwhile De Bruyne is also seemingly back in the frame after impressing during a spell in the Bundesliga last season with Werder Bremen.
A number of Bundesliga rivals were keen to keep him in Germany but Bayer Leverkusen general manager Michael Reschke told Bild last week: "At a meeting on Wednesday in Leipzig, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho made it clear that Kevin will return to Chelsea."
Mourinho will reportedly be handed a summer transfer kitty of over £100million to strengthen his squad - and among those names already linked are Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic, and Xabi Alonso.
But it is the club's existing players which will provide Mourinho with his biggest headache as he considers what to do with the likes of Terry, Luiz and Fernando Torres. Terry was the driving force in lifting the club to their first league title in over half a century during Mourinho's initial spell in charge, but the relationship between the pair was said to have become distinctly cool.
Terry has one year remaining on his existing contract and with no shortage of suitors for the central defender - Monaco are among those who have expressed their interest - Mourinho's choice appears stark.
Either he reinstalls Terry as the central point around which he will shape his second Stamford Bridge revolution, or he ushers him through the exit door and establishes a fresh figurehead for the seasons ahead.
The future of Luiz, who could be a contender for the role of new team leader, is also in doubt as he has been courted by Paris St Germain. And the future of Torres could also be in doubt, with the striker surely unwilling to sink down the pecking-order should the likes of Cavani come in.