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Mourinho: Costa could return

Jose Mourinho is hopeful of welcoming Diego Costa back into his squad that travels to take on West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening.

The striker has not featured since the first week of April because of a hamstring injury but Mourinho, who was addressing the media at his weekly pre-match press conference, seemed optimistic about the striker returning to the fold.

‘I think Diego Costa is selected for this game,’ he said. 'I cannot confirm now because the game is on Monday but with two days to train I think he should be ready for this game.

'For Ramires and Oscar, the season is over,’ added Mourinho. ‘For Zouma the season is over. Petr Cech has a chance to be back for the last match.'

Before then we head to the Hawthorns. Looking ahead to our final away game of the season, Mourinho spoke highly of his opposite number on Monday evening, Tony Pulis.

‘If I owned an English club – which I don’t and which I will never do! - I would sign Tony Pulis. It’s as simple as that. He’s a guarantee to achieve what the club wants.

‘His record is absolutely amazing. He understands what some people don’t, but I do, and some people don’t rate, but I do, and for me it is the most important thing in football: the relation between what the manager wants and what the team is.

‘Tony’s team are exactly what he wants, and exactly what he prepares them to be. This is the most difficult thing in football. Philosophy is a beautiful thing but football is more than that.

‘We all need to respect the game and play for the best result,’ continued our boss turning his attention to matters on the field. ‘We are going to try for the maximum possible points. It’s the nature of the game.

‘I am happy West Bromwich Albion don’t need points, so there is no pressure for us or for them, but for sure they want to win their last game at home, and for sure we want to try for the maximum points. The more, the better.’

The end of a hugely successful season is fast approaching and Mourinho told reporters what plans are in place for those players that left the club either on loan or in a permanent deal during the January transfer window.

‘Schurrle, Salah and Schwarzer have been invited to the last match and to the Chelsea Player of the Year dinner.

‘We are not sure if they can come but at least they know that we feel they belong to the title and they are champions like us.

‘By the rules they only give a medal to a player that had five appearances so not all of them will get an official medal, but we are going to buy medals and replicas of the cup. For me a champion is the one that played every minute like John and the one that didn’t play a minute like Schwarzer.’

As is the norm at this time of year, many of the questions aimed in Mourinho’s direction centred around transfer speculation. It appears the ‘silly season’ has started in earnest.

‘Every player is linked to our club - some because they want to come and some because they want better contracts in their clubs. That’s the nature of the market and we are not going to play the game. We know what we want and, I repeat, it’s not much.

‘We don’t need dramatic changes. We have to be loyal to our players. What other clubs are going to do is not going to affect our direction. I like my squad very, very much. It’s a young squad, with space to improve, and as I was saying before I am in a different position from last season, because then I was more than keen for my club to sell some players. In this moment I am very, very happy to keep my players.

‘The base last year was to sell some to buy some, and the base this season is to keep my squad.’

As Mourinho explained, that includes Petr Cech, who this week has been linked with a move away from west London.

‘I want my best players, and my important players, which Petr is, so I would like him to stay and that is my position.

‘I don’t know that it’s absolutely true what his agent is saying, maybe it is, but the player has a contract with Chelsea, and Chelsea will have a very important say in the decision.

‘I am optimistic and I would like him to stay.’

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