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Mangala agent switch makes Chelsea move more plausible

| 17.10.2013

The news that Porto’s highly-rated centre-half Eliaquim Mangala has now acquired the same agent as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, has stoked the fires of speculation that a possible transfer could be orchestrated more easily in future.

If you haven’t heard too much about Mangala, the French man mountain was the lynchpin at the centre of a Porto defence which conceded just 14 times on their way to the Portuguese championship last season.

Still at the age of just 22, the now capped Frenchman was reportedly a target for both Chelsea and Manchester City this summer, although Porto have been wise enough to write a £40m release clause into his contract.

He arrived at Porto for just £5m in the summer of 2011 from Standard Liege, before breaking into the team for the start of the 2012/13 season, where he made one of the central defensive positions his own.

A huge physical presence, Mangala has the kind of frightening athleticism which seems tailor-made to make it in the Premier League and has already been labelled ‘a monster’ in Portugal.

What he perhaps lacks in terms of the refined technique on the ball of say a Thiago Silva, Mangala more than makes up for it with his strength in the tackle, pace and positioning.

And if the list if attributes wasn’t already lengthy enough, he also possesses that most compelling of qualities for a centre-back, of sticking the ball in the back of the opposition net; which he managed to do seven times for Porto in the league last season.

So Chelsea fans will be delighted to learn that his recent move across to join Mourinho’s own agent, Jorge Mendes, could be the beginning of affable negotiations over a possible future deal between the clubs.

Chelsea resume Premier League hostilities after the international break at home to Cardiff, where Andre Schurrle is priced at 7/4 to score anytime, after notching four times in two matches for Germany.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.