Mourinho rates keepers among best
LONDON -- Jose Mourinho says his goalkeepers do not yet know who will start against Burnley on Monday but that he has a "great problem" because Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois are "two of the three best goalkeepers in the world."
Although there have been some hints that it will be Courtois who starts, Mourinho insisted they will only know once the squad is told the starting XI.
"I don't tell you because they don't know," he said. "The team doesn't know. They will know at the same time, all of them.
"My opinion -- with all the respect to fantastic goalkeepers around the world, with all my respect -- I think Chelsea has two of the three best goalkeepers in the world. This is something unique. Is it a problem for me? A great problem. They are both fantastic goalkeepers."
Chelsea also extended 41-year-old Mark Schwarzer's contract in the summer after he impressed while deputising for Cech late last season and Mourinho added: "[He is] in a different age and level at the moment but even Schwarzer is a very good goalkeeper.
"To have Courtois and Petr is a good problem. It's a problem every manager in every club would like to have.
"I think it's not easy [for one of them not to play]. For me it's not just easy because I don't think any manager is happy to see one player not in a very happy and comfortable position. Only in that perspective it's not easy for me -- I like to see happy people. I'm not happy to see when other people are not happy.
"I can understand for top goalkeepers that could play in every club in the world, in here, one of them is going to be on the bench. It's a difficult situation. For Chelsea it's a great situation. For me as a manger thinking in a pragmatic way to have the best goalkeeper on the field is a very safe and comfortable situation for us."
Mourinho stressed that he would have to pay particular attention to the goalkeeper who does not start, to keep him motivated.
"In this moment they are working well and hard and we are so happy to have them both," he said. "I prefer to analyse this in that perspective. During the season if one is definitely my first choice I have to support and stimulate the other one.
"I can't have one of these incredible goalkeepers on the bench three or four months waiting for a Capital One Cup game. I have to stimulate the competition and I have to praise some top goalkeeper which is not my first choice.
"The best way for me to work is to think pragmatically, in a cold way, forget a little bit try to hide the emotions around these situations and decide what I think is the best for the team."
The Chelsea manager did, however, evade any questions about whether he would consider offers for either goalkeeper.
"In this moment I don't want to think about it," he said. "There is no offer. I'm working with them and I told them as a group today -- every one of my players in the squad I'm happy to have them. I'm not waiting for anything. [It is] not good to analyse something that isn't on the table.
"Every manager in the world would like to have Courtois and Cech ... and Schwarzer."
Free to play: ESPN FC Premier League fantasy
- Sign up for our new game and challenge your friends
- How to play the game -- fantasy rules in full
- FAQ: All your game questions answered
- Transfers: Check out the latest Premier League moves
- Fantasy HQ: Email us with your issues