Jose Mourinho is finally set to axe Oscar this summer – and reignite Chelsea’s interest in West Ham forward Enner Valencia.
Attacking midfielder Oscar, bought for £25million in summer 2012 when Roberto di Matteo was manager, has fallen down the pecking order after initially impressing when he arrived from Internacional in his Brazilian homeland.
The 23-year-old is among the most substituted players in the Premier League this season, after failing to maintain the work-rate Mourinho demands of his players.
Oscar has not started or finished a full 90 minutes in any competition since the end of January.
Italian champions Juventus are interested in him, with Valencia being lined up by the Blues after impressing for West Ham since his £12m arrival from Mexican side Pachuca last July.
Valencia – linked with the champions-elect Chelsea in the winter window – has scored five goals, but has also impressed with his versatility, pace and work-rate.
Defiant West Ham have already insisted they will do all they can to keep the 25-year-old Ecuador international.
They have vowed to hold on to ALL of their top stars this summer, with Chelsea and Manchester City also keen on left-back Aaron Cresswell.
The Irons are well aware, however, that they face a battle to avoid being asset-stripped at the end of the season.