The transfer market provides managers with a vast number of options to upgrade their squads. Sky Sports News reports returning Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has set his sights on just one: Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney.
Jose Mourinho reveals Wayne Rooney is Chelsea's only transfer target #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 17, 2013
The longtime Red Devils forward has been the focus of transfer speculation since the end of last season. But Mourinho is the first opposing manager to make such a bold statement about Rooney's involvement in his club's transfer plans.
By announcing he's not simply targeting Rooney but made him the sole focus for Chelsea ahead of next season is a major statement. And with United and Chelsea among the Premier League's top contenders, it could be a title-changing showdown over the England international.
New United manager David Moyes has remained firm in his stance that Rooney is not for sale. Per the BBC:
It's hard to keep repeating myself. But I will do. Wayne is a Manchester United player and will remain that. Unless I was speaking double Dutch I think we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale.
Whether Rooney is willing to stay is unclear. Sky Sports previously reported that the forward was "angry and confused" by the treatment he was receiving at United and remained open to possible deals, including a move to Chelsea.
Reporter Kaveh Solhekol told Sky Sports:
"Since he's returned from the pre-season tour due to injury, Rooney has been in touch with the club and spoken to David Moyes on the phone - he is angry and confused at the way he's been treated."
Rooney has been linked with a transfer to both Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks and it is understood he is open to the idea of moving to London from the North West.
Where will Rooney be when the season starts?
In other words, the story continues to go through twists and turns with about a month until the new season gets underway. The confirmation of interest from Chelsea, and the fact the England international is the team's only target, is just the latest step in a saga that continues to dominate headlines.
Rooney would surely be motivated following a move. Should he end up with Chelsea, it could very well shift the balance of power in the Premier League. It's something United must consider before even thinking about a deal with a rival.
Mourinho said the decision is now in United's hands.
Mourinho: We want the player, we made a bid and now it's up to Manchester United #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 17, 2013
Whether an agreement will be reached is unknown, but the intrigue continues to grow.