Chelsea have afforded themselves one of the most precious commodities in the transfer market this summer—patience.
With a deep roster and solid core in place—so long as they can fend off Barcelona's advances for David Luiz, according to Tom Bryant of The Guardian—the Blues don't need to make a move, even if they've long been rumoured to have eyes for Wayne Rooney.
And though it appears Rooney is prepared to soon pull out all the stops to leave Old Trafford, Chelsea need not bid against themselves trying to bring him aboard:
The Manchester United striker is expected to submit a formal transfer request this week in a bid to facilitate a £30m transfer to Stamford Bridge.
United, who are believed to be lining up a bid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, continue to dig their heels in over the Rooney matter and are maintaining their public and private stance that they simply will not sell the England star to one of their prime Barclays Premier League rivals.
Rooney and indeed Chelsea continue to believe that United and their new manager David Moyes will cave in as the 27-year-old continues to emphasise just how much he wants out of the club that has been his home for the last nine years.
Sure, in that report, it is noted that Rooney could seek a move abroad, ostensibly meaning he'll bring other clubs into transfer negotiations to avoid a return to Manchester United this season. But with three forwards—Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and the promising Romelu Lukaku, along with new man Andre Schurrle—Chelsea don't need Wayne Rooney.
And thus, they don't need to get into a bidding war to land him. Patience is a wonderful thing if you can afford it.
If a foreign club doesn't enter the fray, Chelsea will be in the driver's seat. They'll know United want to be done with the Rooney distraction, and, thus, Chelsea won't have to dramatically overpay to land him. Of course, £30 million isn't chump change, but for a player who would make them Premier League favorites?
It would be a bargain.
Like Liverpool with Luis Suarez or Tottenham with Gareth Bale, Manchester United will insist they don't need to move Rooney. They'll maintain they are perfectly happy keeping him. They'll say he's an important part of the club, blah blah blah.
The truth is, there isn't a bigger distraction than holding onto a star player who wants to leave. It fills the papers with a flurry of rumours and speculation. It holds up other business. It can become a divisive distraction in the locker room.
So United may not want to sell Rooney at Chelsea, much like Liverpool will try anything to avoid selling Suarez to Arsenal—or much like the Gunners desperately tried to avoid selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United a season ago—but eventually, the logical business decision will win out.
And in the meantime, Chelsea will wait.
Because they can.
Because this team, as presently constructed, will challenge for a Premier League title.
Wayne Rooney will play for ___________ next season.
Because this team has already plenty of depth on the attack.
Because the sundae has already been made, and Rooney would simply be the cherry on top.
Because eventually, United will probably realize their best bet in the Rooney saga is to take Chelsea's money and run.
Because nothing is more valuable in the transfer market than patience.
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