Jose Mourinho has praised the talent of Mattia Destro amid reports the Chelsea manager is lining the Roma striker up as a replacement for the AC Milan-bound Fernando Torres.
Spain international Torres finally agreed a deal with the Serie A giants on Friday and rumours suggest Mourinho could be set to reunite with Italian frontman Destro.
The 23-year-old rose through the ranks at Inter Milan and Mourinho believes he saw the signs of a “top striker” during his time as coach at the San Siro.
Destro was plying his trade as an under-21 player during Mourinho’s time with Inter but struggled to break into the club’s first team, prompting a move to Roma where he has once again caught the eye of the Chelsea boss.
Mattia was a kid when I was at Inter. I think he was like 18. He was playing the Primavera team, our under-21s, training with us so many times.
“Mattia was a kid when I was at Inter,” he told the Daily Mirror. “I think he was like 18. He was playing in the Primavera team, our under-21s, training with us so many times.
“Everyone knew at the club that his potential was there to be a top striker. He was unlucky because we had Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano, then Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito.
“So it was not easy for him to come into the first team. The ones that got the chance were Davide Santon and Giulio Donati.”
Torres’ three-year spell at Stamford Bridge is expected to end soon with the striker set for a medical in Milan on Saturday and the completion of his reported two-year loan deal could pave the way for Mourinho to recruit another forward before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Commenting on the Spaniard’s imminent departure, Mourinho said: “He is going to leave because he wants to try a new life, a new club and a new league.
“I believe that it is to try to be happier than he was in the last couple of years.”