As reported by the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, the Stamford Bridge side recently confirmed a cash bid for the disgruntled Manchester United forward. Chelsea may have put out an offer in the region of £22 million, but this expenditure is misplaced and overlooks the London club's main needs for a successful 2013/14 season.
Jose Mourinho has revealed Rooney is his only remaining target in a transfer window that has already seen Chelsea spend on Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel. Speaking in a recent press conference on the squad's tour of the Far East, Mourinho confirmed the Europa League champions are aiming to land the England international. As per Matt Barlow and Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail:
We want the player, we are interested in the player, we made the bid. No more comments. I don't say one more word about Wayne Rooney. It's up to Manchester United.
We don't want to make public what has to be private but the doesn't involve players in the deal. It is an economic bid over several months. Not (David) Luiz or (Juan) Mata.
Manchester United's decision to reject the bid has done Chelsea a major favour. There is no chance he can be prized away from United for the reported £22 million fee, especially to one of the club's main rivals. Chelsea will have to spend lavishly to secure his services and are better off utilising the current squad's depth than buying another high-profile attacker.
Mourinho has an abundance of talent at his disposal already. Although Fernando Torres and Demba Ba continue to struggle for consistent form, they must be offloaded before another forward is brought in. Wayne Rooney could replace one of the misfiring duo in his favoured striker position, but Romelu Lukaku deserves a chance after proving his worth with 17 goals in 35 appearances for West Bromwich Albion last season.
Should Mourinho wish to play Rooney in an attacking midfield role, the former Everton player's presence will unsettle a host of talented names already vying for starting roles at Stamford Bridge. The likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Lucas Piazon, Kevin De Bruyne and Victor Moses can perform similar duties. With Schurrle and Van Ginkel added this summer, competition for places is even more congested.
The Europa League champions possess a variety of lethal talent that must be developed. While the aging Lampard should expect a bit-part role, young prospects such as Hazard, Oscar and Van Ginkel need to be playing regularly. With little indication Chelsea are going to offload Torres or Ba, Rooney's appearance would only push each of these hungry individuals down the pecking order.
Chelsea's endless funds are better spent elsewhere. The club need a defensive leader now John Terry continues to creak with age and should avidly hunt a new centre-back. Terry's best days are behind him at the age of 32 and now is the time for Mourinho to stamp his authority across the back four.
Other first-team defenders also hover around footballing old age. Ashley Cole is 32, Branislav Ivanovic is 29 and Gary Cahill is 27. This quartet of players heads towards its last season together, especially if Mourinho plans to utilise David Luiz in his original centre-back role. While Chelsea's forwards continue striving for a place in the starting lineup, those in defence have nothing but complacency to contend with.
Morale is high at Stamford Bridge right now. Roman Abramovich's team continue to rack up trophy wins and have a decade of success stored in the history books. Rooney has proved himself to be whiny, disloyal and a liability both on and off the field at Manchester United, a club that has supported his every move for nine years.
Make no mistake about it, Rooney's arrival will ruffle more than a few feathers. Unfortunately for Chelsea, most of those reside at Stamford Bridge. As Mourinho enters his second tenure with the famous club, the Portuguese manager must refocus his transfer priorities and allow Chelsea's young attacking players the opportunity to fly.