Mourinho: Chelsea will challenge for Premier League and Champions League

The Blues finished four points off Manchester City last season and reached the semifinals of Europe's elite club competition, and their manager believes they are stronger now.

Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea is capable of taking the Premier League title from Manchester City while also competing in the latter stages of the Champions League this season.

The Blues finished third in the league last season, four points behind eventual winners City, while Atletico Madrid ended their run in Europe's elite club competition at the semifinal stage.

Mourinho spent most of the campaign managing public expectations of his young team, at one stage even labelling Chelsea the "little horse" in the Premier League title race.

But the high-profile additions of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis to an already formidable squad have prompted Mourinho to be much more confident in his team's chances this time around.

When asked if Chelsea was capable of taking the title off City during the club's preseason training camp in Austria, the Portuguese replied: "If I didn’t think that way I would go home and let somebody else take charge of the team.

"People can speak about other leagues but England is the only country where five or six teams can win the title. Football is about competitiveness every weekend and that only happens in the Premier League.

"When you have the two Manchester clubs, the three clubs from London – Tottenham, Arsenal and ourselves – plus Liverpool, that’s six top teams, where all of them can win the title. That’s why everybody loves the Premier League.

"At Chelsea, if we didn’t think we could win the league, or didn’t think we had the quality to do it, we wouldn’t be here working so hard. We respect our opponents and their ambitions, because they have the same ambitions as us, but we want to win the Premier League and we are ready for that."

Mourinho also believes the Blues will be able to put up an even stronger showing in the Champions League this season with their new signings and January purchases Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah available. 

"Last year we reached the semi-finals and it was a transitional season," he added. "A team which has been a winning team for 10 seasons is changing step by step, we’ve bought new players and we are trying to build for the next decade. We had a very young team at the time but, even so, we reached the semi-finals and were playing to win the competition.

"This season we think we are going to be stronger, the younger players are more experienced, they are stable and better adapted to fighting for titles. You look around, to Spain, Germany and elsewhere in England, teams are getting stronger, spending big amounts of money and trying to sign the best possible players.

"We will go to the Champions League group stage with one objective: to qualify. When you reach the last 16 let’s see what happens."