LONDON, September 26-Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, admits he has no control over Diego Costa’s impending international involvement with Spain amid fears that his injury problems will not clear up in the short-term.
Costa has been struggling with a hamstring injury since the start of the season and Mourinho would prefer that the striker is rested for the forthcoming away European Championship 2016 qualifiers with Slovakia and Luxembourg.
But the Blues boss concedes he cannot stop Spain from picking Costa, who is set to return to the Chelsea line-up against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday, following a week’s lay-off in a bid to restore the £32million forward back towards full fitness.
Mourinho said: “I’m nobody to make that decision. Everything is clear. Everybody knows what is going on with Diego. Everyone knows he’s in trouble for quite a long time. But I’m nobody.
“The moment a national team wants to select a Chelsea player, I’m nobody. It’s their decision. They can call the players, play them, do what they want. It’s completely out of my control. What I think and what I feel doesn’t play a part.
“But they do what they want. It’s not our decision. We can communicate, send exams and reports, but it’s their decision.
“After the game against Arsenal (next weekend), or even before that when they make the pre-selection, everything is in their hands. I can do nothing.”
Mourinho chose to leave Costa out of the midweek League Cup tie victory over Bolton Wanderers, but will prioritise the home fixture against high-flying Villa at Stamford Bridge over next week’s Champions League trip to Sporting Lisbon.
Mourinho added: “He plays tomorrow and starts the game without problems. The question is always the same: Can he finish the game and be in conditions to play in Lisbon 48 hours later?
“That I don’t know. But, at this moment, because I don’t think about Sporting or the Champions League, I think about Villa in the Premier League and he plays for sure. He’s in good position to start.
““If he doesn’t play against Sporting, I play (Didier) Drogba or (Loic) Remy. But this game is tomorrow, not Tuesday. It’s another game, another story. I don’t think about the Sporting game. I play tomorrow with the team I think is the best to win against Villa. After that, the consequences I will face. I have to organise a team to play against Sporting. Tomorrow I play with the team I think is the best to win.
“Everyone is working hard. He is the first to do that. He’s working hard in his recovery, with the medical staff and the conditioning staff, trying to be ready for every game. Mentally, he’s ready for every game.
“Physically he’s not. Everyone is trying hard for him to be able to play every game.”
Mourinho refused to get embroiled in a war of words with Manuel Pellegrini after the Manchester City manager branded Chelsea ‘a small club’ following the 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.
He said: “I don’t have a reaction. I think he should, not me. It was not once or two or three times that he told everyone he doesn’t speak about referees: he killed (Mark) Clattenburg.
“Three or four times he says he doesn’t speak about me or my teams: he did it once more. It’s for you to comment.
“When I said I don’t want to speak about him, that’s what I try to do.”
Mourinho has a fully fit squad apart from Ramires against Paul Lambert’s resurgent side, who beat Chelsea at Villa Park to dent the Blues title ambitions last term.
Mourinho added: “Last season was last season. This season is this season. They are second with 10 points. That’s the important thing.
“It’s a game between the leaders and the second, the same points as Southampton. It shows the difficulty of the game. That’s the only thing I think about.”