There has been much speculation throughout the course of the season as to which striker the Portuguese would target come the summer – with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa said to be top of his wishlist.
However, Mourinho could be set to spring a major surprise by signing a quadragenarian right-back who was expected to retire this summer.
The Argentine right-back will turn 41 in August and has been at San Siro since 1995, becoming the first buy of Massimo Moratti’s reign.
Zanetti has repeatedly said he wishes to remain at Inter for life, even after he hangs up his boots.
However, according to Sky Sport Italia, Mourinho is eager to tempt him into one final playing experience.
Mourinho won the treble at Inter with Zanetti as his captain in 2010 and is prepared to offer him a one-year contract at Chelsea from June 2014.
It would also include the option to then become Mourinho’s transfer market strategist after he retires from playing.
Zanetti’s current deal with the Nerazzurri expires in June and he has not yet worked out a renewal, nor decided whether he’ll retire at the end of the season.
However, Zanetti is not part of new manager Walter Mazzarri’s plans and is reportedly ready to discuss the Mourinho offer with Inter president Erick Thohir.