Under-pressure Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the subject of a surprising £35m bid from AS Monaco, according to reports.
Alessandro Proto, a shareholder at the Ligue 1 club, has claimed that he travelled to London on Tuesday in an audacious attempt to talk Roman Abramovich into parting with his Portuguese coach.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea’s owner rejected the offer out of hand but Proto’s company, Proto Enterprises, has since alleged that a deal could be done should Monaco double their offer to £71m.
Abramovich’s refusal suggests that he remains supportive of the beleaguered Mourinho, whose defending champions currently sit 15th in the Premier League table, following six defeats in their opening eleven league matches.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan coach has been forced to deny that he has lost the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, with recent allegations suggesting that there is at least one player at the club who would rather lose games than win under his management.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mourinho, who signed a new contract until June 2019 last summer, reiterated his commitment to the club despite this season’s troubles.
“I have four years. In this case, three years and seven months,” he said at a press conference, before reassuring supporters that he knew the reasons behind his side’s poor performances.
“Yes, I know why the results have been different but I can’t tell you because I’ll be here a long time,” Mourinho added.
“It’s a combination of factors. Some of them I can’t, I don’t even want to touch them — but yes I know.”
Chelsea take on Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday night in the Champions League, following mixed results in the competition which have left them third at the halfway point in Group G.
“Tomorrow is not a must-win game, it’s a must-not-lose game, so if we draw and then win the last two matches we will qualify,” he said.
Mourinho’s side go to Maccabi Tel Aviv in their penultimate match, before concluding the group stage with a home game against his former club Porto.