Mourinho: Defending champions are always favourites

Jose Mourinho says that Chelsea go into the new Premier League season as title favourites, despite Antonio Conte’s fears over his squad.

Conte believes that his squad “needs more players” if Chelsea are to mount a successful defence of their Premier League crown.

But Mourinho claims that Chelsea’s acquisition of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata should represent adequate compensation for the players that departed Stamford Bridge during the summer.

“When people say, for example, Chelsea lost an important midfield player, if you lose one but you buy Bakayoko and [Danny] Drinkwater for example, what’s the problem?” said Mourinho, referencing Chelsea’s reported interest in the Leicester City midfielder.

“The problem is when you sell and you don’t buy. When you sell and you keep buying, what’s the problem?”

“You are probably even stronger so I think every top team in the Premier League is strong enough, is potentially strong enough with the financial situation to be fighting for everything.

“When everybody is also in Europe, five in the Champions League and then two in the Europa League, you have the top seven teams playing for everything and all of them are strong.”

“The stamp that you have when you are champions is that the next season you are the favourite.”