Mourinho: Pogba is the Eiffel Tower & Chelsea can’t have him

The manager is a long-term admirer of the Juventus midfielder but claims he has faith in his Premier League title-winning squad

Mourinho: Pogba is the Eiffel Tower & Chelsea can't have him

Jose Mourinho has compared Paul Pogba to the Eiffel Tower and suggested the Juventus midfielder is a footballing landmark that Chelsea are unlikely to get their hands on.

The Portuguese manager has been a long-term admirer of the midfielder, pinpointing the France international as a key target for Chelsea over a year ago, but faces competition for his signature from a number of Europe’s top sides.

Mourinho, who has added just loanee Radamel Falcao and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to his squad so far this summer, feels Pogba would boost any team, but remains confident in the collective strength of his squad.

“Pogba is not to put pressure on people,” Mourinho says. “Pogba is one of the top players in the world. Pogba goes to any team and improves that team automatically. If he stays at Juventus, Juventus will be very strong again. If he goes somewhere else he will improve immediately a team. This is not our case.

“We are changing [Petr] Cech for Begovic, we are changing Didier [Drogba] for Falcao and we are changing kids by other kids. I think everybody has an interest in Pogba. But there are things you can do and things you cannot do. I love the Eiffel Tower but I can’t have the Eiffel Tower in my garden. I can’t even have the Eiffel Tower of Las Vegas.”

Falcao was viewed as a surprise addition by some following the striker’s poor form for Manchester United last term, but Mourinho feels the Colombian’s fitness woes are behind him heading into the new season.

“When a player is injured or has bad consequences of a big injury there is sometimes nothing you can do. We made ourselves sure that was not the case with Falcao because if that was the case he would not be with us.

“He didn’t perform [at United] for many reasons. Some players don’t perform with me, some players don’t perform with Chelsea, they go to other clubs and they perform. This can happen. So we know that Falcao is in good conditions related to the surgery he had before he went to Man United.

“We believe that he can with us and to replace a big player like Didier we wanted to go with another big player with experience, ready, so these three strikers for us – Falcao, Rémy and Diego. We are very happy.”

Despite Manchester United spending over £80 million on the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay and Manchester City signing Raheem Sterling for £49m, Mourinho feels his title-winners are still the team to beat.

“I told the players that we are the same team and the others are not the same team. I cannot stop opponents to make an assault to the banks and spend millions and millions. I cannot stop that. I cannot stop [that] the others have a feeling that we are playing against the champions.

“The others are spending. The others are buying a lot to try to be better than us and the fact that we are the same – we are changing a goalkeeper for another one, a striker for another one.

“It’s a big challenge. To be better with the same people, the players have to be better individually than they were last year. So when they think: ‘Oh last season I did great’ this season it is not enough.’

“John Terry – great season. This season it is not enough. Must be better. Fabregas – I don’t know how many assists last year. Fantastic. It’s not enough. Because the others are going to improve with the players they are bringing and we have to improve by ourselves with our work.”

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