New Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is planning to enter the race for Everton left back Leighton Baines after the club’s chairman Bill Kenwright indicated that he would not be forced into letting the player follow David Moyes to Manchester United without a fight.
Moyes has been closely involved in the Premier League champions pursuit of Baines but Kenwright will offer his old manager no favours having rejected a £12million bid outright.
It is thought that Everton will sell if their valuation of Baines is met but that figure is closer to the £17million mark and will rise shoulder Chelsea become involved in a bidding war for the man seen as the replacement for Patrice Evra.
Chelsea have recently extended Ashley Cole’s contract by a year but Mourinho is a known admirer of Baines and could take Roman Abramovich up on his offer to spend big this transfer window to get the club up to speed for a run at the Premier League next season by outbidding United for Baines.
Mourinho has already indicated that he will overhaul his starting eleven at Stamford Bridge by alerting clubs to the availability of Juan Mata and a number of other players as he looks to build a squad from the best young talent in Europe such as recent signing Andre Schurrle.
Chelsea prepared a bid of £14million for BAines back in January but Everton made all clubs aware that he was not for sale under any circumstances at the time.
A summer bid would further indicate Mourinho and Ambramovich’s plans to interuppt Moyes’ bedding in period with reports also emerging that Chelsea have made a £20million offer for Wayne Rooney.
Moyes is said to prefer that the striker stays at the club but will let him go should he wish to leave though club officials will not sell him to a rival English team unless the offer is extraordinary.
Arsenal have also indicated their interest in the England forward with Jack Wilshere yesterday singing Rooney’s praises and saying he would help the Gunners win the league.
“If it happens, it would be amazing,” Wilshere told ESPN. “He is the type of player who can win you trophies, and just to see his name on the team sheet brings fear to the opposition. We could do with a little more of that.”