Jose Mourinho has again made clear that Romelu Lukaku will return to Chelsea for the 2014-15 season, dismissing the forward’s claims he may stay at Everton.
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The Belgian suggested on Saturday that he would be open to extending his spell at Goodison Park, saying: “I think it’s not a bad idea.”
Mourinho, however, joked: "Maybe there is a new rule in football where, when the season finishes, every player is free to decide his future. Maybe it's a new rule."
Meanwhile, Mourinho also revealed how Ashley Cole is no longer first-choice -- beyond his recent lack of appearances -- explaining that the England international must work hard to dislodge Cesar Azpilicueta.
Mourinho is known to have been impressed with the Spanish right-back's adaptation to the left side. As it stands, it is only squad rotation that will see Cole back in the side.
He said: “I don't know. But one of these two, yes. Sunderland, Stoke... one of these two matches, I think he will. Or, if I decide not to, next week Steaua Bucharest again. It's a position where Azpilicueta has played a group of consecutive matches so sooner or later I'll have to change, so Ashley will play soon.
“I think a left-back with the right foot is not a big problem, really. To defend the inside space, which is important, they are very comfortable. When you play with a winger on the left side, as we do, probably the left-back has also to play with the ball in inside areas, so it's not a problem.”
Mourinho has discussed the issue with Cole. He said: “I think any player that normally starts matches, and Ashley has started matches through all his career... when they don't [start], naturally they're not the happiest guy in the camp.
"But professionally he is always. A team player? Yes. Friend of his friend? Yes. He deserves to play, but Azpilicueta is doing really well, so it's a question of Ashley working and waiting for his opportunity. But he's more than ready to play.”