EXCLUSIVE: Jose Mourinho’s close friend defends Man United target’s youth policy

It has long been a criticism of Mourinho’s two trophy-laden stints in charge at Chelsea, that no young players came through the ranks to establish themselves at Stamford Bridge.

But current interim boss Guus Hiddink, who stepped in after Mourinho was axed in December, in contrast has also been praised for picking young talent.

On Tuesday, goalscorer Kenedy and Bertrand Traore started at Norwich and another 20-year-old, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was on the bench.

But Parames, who was Mourinho’s press officer at Benfica and a former journalist with the respected Portuguese sports paper ‘A Bola’, insists the opposite is true.

“Kurt Zouma was picked ahead of Gary Cahill and David Luiz and before that Carlo Cudicini had to give way to the young Petr Cech,” he said.

Parames’ comments are likely to be seen as a way for Mourinho to help restore his reputation as he looks to make a return at a major club this summer.

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