Mourinho: Oscar will develop like Hazard next season

The Chelsea manager believes that the Brazilian will benefit from a full pre-season and insists that his priority for the summer transfer window is to keep his key players
By Greg Stobart at Stamford Bridge

Jose Mourinho has backed Oscar to emulate PFA player of the year Eden Hazard and star for Chelsea next season.

Oscar has been linked with a summer move away from Stamford Bridge but Mourinho believes that the Brazilian midfielder will benefit from missing out on the Copa America this summer with a thigh injury.

The 23-year-old has played in the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the Olympics in the last three summers but will now get a full summer's rest before returning for pre-season.

Mourinho told reporters: "I have a feeling that Oscar, next year, can have the same evolution that Hazard had this season.

"He has never had a pre-season in his life because of tournaments but now he will have a pre-season because he is injured for the Copa America."

Petr Cech is expected to leave the Blues in the summer but Mourinho is keen to keep the core of his squad together after selling the likes of David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku last year to fund big-money signings.

"The first thing I want is to keep my players," said the Blues boss after the champions' 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

"Last year I was keen to see some people leave and raise funds to buy other players. This year I'm so happy that what's fundamental is to keep these players."