The coming Premier League season is as much about transition as any season before it and almost certainly any that are to come in the future.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as Manchester United manager, Roberto Mancini’s sacking at Manchester City and the conclusion of Rafa Benitez’s time as Chelsea interim manager mean that three of the world’s wealthiest clubs all have new leaders at their helm.
Will Wayne Rooney move before the transfer window closes?
As such, eyes are transfixed upon who will assume the mantle of managerial maestro in the coming campaign, a race which Jose Mourinho currently looks to be winning on his second voyage of the English tides.
The Portuguese boss isn’t unaccustomed to mind games both in and out of the media’s eye and is using his experience in that sector against the reasonably green presence of Red Devils’ boss David Moyes.
As was reiterated by Matt McGeechan of the Press Association (h/t Daily Mail), Wayne Rooney remains Mourinho’s sole transfer target this summer, having already seen a bid for the forward rejected last week.
The Daily Mail's Lee Clayton found the time to comment on the transfer madness via Twitter, saying:
Anyone see Suarez in an Arsenal shirt and Rooney in a Chelsea shirt when the music stops? #madtransfers— Lee Clayton (@LeeClayton_) July 24, 2013
At Everton, Moyes was no stranger to the art of hanging onto a valued member of the squad, fending off interest from Europe’s giants in order to hang onto his stars on numerous occasions.
However, the Scotsman is all the fresher in his Old Trafford role. At Stamford Bridge, Mourinho has already made some signings, bringing in Andre Schuerrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer from Bayer Leverkusen, Vitesse Arnhem and free agency, respectively. As such, his fans are currently appeased for the most part. The Portuguese have been able to calmly go about his admiration of Rooney and were most recently quoted by Sky Sports as saying:
At this moment we have made what you know; that bid which was public and official and after that nothing else. But we are calm as we told you that we are calm because we are happy with what we have.
However, over at the Theatre of Dreams, Moyes hasn’t got things quite as easy. He’s just inherited the throne of one of the greatest managers who will ever grace the game and is yet to make a “big name” transfer this summer. Instead, he is distracted by where Rooney is going to end up.
According to the Guardian, Moyes is adamant that Rooney will stay and is not up for sale.
Regardless, Mourinho is already showing his wisdom in such manners. He is going about his comments in a cool, relaxed manner, insisting that his squad is good enough and that if Rooney comes, they’ll be all the better for it.
Just how this season will pan out is for anyone to decide at the moment, but even in these “unimportant preseason” weeks leading up to it, the managers are getting as much of a workout in the press as their players are on the pitch.