Jose Mourinho told the BBC that Chelsea’s only remaining transfer target for the summer is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. According to Reuters, David Moyes has reiterated his stance that Rooney is not for sale; however, both parties have revealed that the Blues have made a formal approach.
Mourinho had previously suggested that the Englishman’s role as understudy to Robin van Persie would be detrimental to the national side, according to ESPN's Richard Jolly. He has expressed admiration of Rooney’s abilities and is essentially offering him a fresh start as his favoured striker.
This would provide the perfect salve for Rooney, who fell out of favour at United following protracted contract negotiations back in 2010. His relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson deteriorated, and it appears that not enough time has passed for him to have rebuilt his bridges with David Moyes.
Working with Mourinho would relieve Rooney of the psychological baggage that he has been carrying. The Special One’s man management skills have been a key factor over his career, and former players cannot praise him highly enough for the belief he instilled in them.
Dropping from £27 million boy wonder to second-choice striker will have landed a heavy blow on Rooney’s psyche, but if anyone can help him regain his form, it’s Mourinho. He prides himself on his ability to relate to his players on an individual level and to get the best from them using both the carrot and the stick. The level of personalised attention that his charges receive makes them feel as though they can achieve anything, as is evidenced by Chelsea’s remarkable 2004-05 Premier League campaign.
His tactical nous would also play a big role in Rooney’s continuing development. Chelsea’s current crop of strikers each offer something different. Romelu Lukaku brings sheer size, power and strength, whilst Demba Ba excels at finishing. On a good day, Fernando Torres can score some amazing individual goals, and his ability to assist his teammates is often overlooked.
Rooney offers the perfect blend of all these qualities.
His versatility would make him the first-choice front man at Stamford Bridge in whatever formation Mourinho deploys. He would take full advantage of all that Chelsea’s attacking midfield talents can offer, and a partnership between him and Lukaku would terrify opponents.
Although the rhetoric to date suggests that United have no plans to part with Rooney before his contract is up, there can be no doubt that linking up with Mourinho would enable the England star to thrive again.