Wayne Rooney is Chelsea’s top transfer target this summer. Now that previous holders of this coveted position in world football have pledged their futures elsewhere, the Daily Mail are reporting that the Blues were after Rooney all along.
The £240,000 a week deal on the table alongside the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho could tempt him into a move to London. However, Manchester United have reiterated that the striker is not for sale, despite having entered the final two years of his current Old Trafford contract.
If Rooney were to force a move, he would need to drastically improve his fitness levels. He revealed in his book that he struggles to recover from games far more than he used to. Whilst that is a natural part of the aging process, the fluctuations in his fitness and physique are a cause for concern.
Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Oscar played 64 games for Chelsea last season. At his current level, Rooney would struggle to keep pace with their stamina throughout the season. Of course, there is no chance that Jose Mourinho would put up with any dead weight, but the presence of The Special One presents an even bigger hurdle to Rooney’s revival.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lambasted the striker in August 2012 over his protracted contract negotiations, citing his attitude as the main problem. Mourinho may have the man-management skills to tame Rooney’s ego, but such a scathing character reference from his old pal would ring in his ears.
Chelsea’s lack of a proven, in-form striker would lead Mourinho to deploy him in his preferred centre-forward role, but this is the only real change that this deal would offer. The wages would be the same amount he receives at United, with the cost of living in London significantly higher than the North-West.
He has won 12 trophies with Manchester United, and challenging for the same honours in a Chelsea shirt would be a hollow move.
If he truly believes there is no future for him at Old Trafford, Rooney should be looking further afield than Chelsea. A move abroad would offer the fresh faces he needs, combined with a different approach that could reignite his passion for the beautiful game, reviving his career in the process.