The Sunday Times says should Mourinho get a job at a top European club, as seems inevitable, the Portuguese is likely to target a cabal of senior players who served him so well at Stamford Bridge, chiefly Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien.

Even without Mourinho stealing the cream, the unsettled Drogba is certain to move on and so are Steve Sidwell, Tal Ben-Haim and Claudio Pizarro, last summer's free transfers.