Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he was not responsible for the signing of Papy Djilobodji but insists the defender was the choice of “someone I trust completely”.
The Senegal centre-back was bought on deadline day for a reported fee of £4 million after the Blues had failed to prise Everton starlet John Stones to Stamford Bridge in a significantly more expensive deal.
The perception of Djilobodji as a last resort was only increased the following day when Mourinho did not include him in his 25-man squad for the Champions League group stage.
“[Djilobodji] was not my choice,” Mourinho admitted. “He was the choice of someone I trust completely. That’s the same thing.
“The person that told me Djilobodji could be a fantastic squad player for us is same who said [Kurt] Zouma could be fantastic.”
He added: “He’s not in the Champions League squad because if he is, Kenedy and [Bertrand] Traore are not on the list. If they are not, you would ask why. The Champions League is good for their development.
“We will be very unlucky if in six matches [in the group stage] we need Djilobodji in the team. One thing is the short competitions, another the domestic season.”
Following the failure to sign Stones, the sale of Petr Cech – who was reportedly allowed to leave for rivals Arsenal against Mourinho’s will – and Chelsea’s poor start to the season, speculation regarding the state of the relationship between the Portuguese coach and owner Roman Abramovich has intensified.
Abramovich made a rare appearance at Chelsea training on Friday morning and, when questioned as to the purpose of the Russian’s visit, Mourinho grew irritated.
“Do you think I have to speak with you about the owner coming to this club? That’s my problem,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you.”