Premier League • England

Chelsea one of two London clubs given keys to transfer of Mourinho cast-off

Basel left-back Riccardo Calafiori

A transfer is there for the making if either Chelsea or a London rival deem it worthy after an Italian defender revealed which Premier League teams he dreams of playing for.

Jose Mourinho is in his second season at Roma having guided the Italian giant to Europa Conference League glory last year.

The Portuguese firebrand has Roma currently sat seventh in Serie A and safely guided them into the knockout rounds of the Europa League.

One player the ex-Chelsea boss did not deem worthy of a place in his current side was Italy Under-21 left-back, Riccardo Calafiori.

The 20-year-old was sold to Swiss side FC Basel in August and signed a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth. Sky Italia reported the deal was worth €1.5m plus 40 percent of any future sell-on fee.

Calafiori has featured heavily at left-back since arriving. He’s also showcased his versatility when playing in a more advanced role on occasion.

When recently interviewed by Roma-centric website Voce Giallorossa, Calafiori touched on several subjects including where he sees his future. According to the player himself, London is calling.

When asked where he sees himself in five years’ time, the left-sided defender said: “I have two images: going back to Italy, perhaps in Rome, or my dream would be to play in the Premier League.

“I really like West Ham or Chelsea.”

While there are no definitive transfer links between either side and the Italian, one thing is for sure, a move looks a simple affair if either become willing.

Calafiori also left the door ajar over a return to Roma. When asked if he’d have preferred a loan switch to Basel rather than an outright sale, he said: “Let’s say it’s not necessarily a definitive goodbye, you never know, anything can happen.

“If you leave permanently, you have more chances to play, you have more chances to fight for that team. For example, I was on loan at Genoa and the opposite happened, I played little or nothing”.

What’s Mourinho really like?

Finally, Calafiori lifted the lid on what it’s like playing for one of the game’s most controversial managers.

Mourinho’s last stint in England with Tottenham did not fare well. Even at former clubs Man Utd and Chelsea where trophies were lifted it was rarely smooth sailing in the harmony department.

However, Calafiori is a fan of Mourinho’s forthright approach, and stressed his man-management has made him a more rounded professional.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with the coach, as a person he says things to your face,” added Calafiori. “Whether he likes you or not he tells you clearly.

“As can happen to everyone, if you do well he compliments you otherwise he tells you where you went wrong.

“But he doesn’t he put the cross on me. He uses carrot and stick, sometimes he makes you gnaw, but he wants to see the reaction. Then when you react, he comes there to hug you.

“He left me great teachings that I will take with me. I can approach new experiences with more peace of mind, I know how to deal with difficulties.”

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