Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Latest Chatter on Wayne Rooney and More

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IAugust 13, 2013

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Wayne Rooney of England talks with Ray Lewington during a training session at St Georges Park on August 12, 2013 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The rumours surrounding Wayne Rooney have slowed down as Manchester United and Chelsea both get ready for the start of the EPL season, but you can bet they won't stop completely until August 31.

The most recent chatter doesn't regard Rooney directly, but rather Jose Mourinho's plans if he isn't able to land the versatile English striker. 

Tony Banks of The Express has the news:

Chelsea are considering a surprise move for Cameroon veteran Samuel Eto'o as back-up in case their bid for Wayne Rooney fails.

They are still confident of landing Rooney from Manchester United – he missed yesterday’s Community Shield win over Wigan and has been training with the reserves.

Chelsea are preparing a third bid for him, of about £28million, and a source close to the club told the Daily Express: “Chelsea are sure Rooney will join.”

But Jose Mourinho has in the past 48 hours made enquiries about Anzhi Makhachkala striker Eto’o as a possible bargain £5m back-up.

At 32 years of age and away from a top league for two seasons, Samuel Eto'o certainly isn't on Rooney's level from a talent standpoint, so it's hard to believe this is anything more than an extreme last-ditch option for Chelsea.

And it definitely isn't enough evidence to suggest Chelsea is out of the "Rooney race."

Still, Eto'o played for Jose Mourinho at Inter and has plenty left in his legs, so the Blues' interest in him is legitimate. At the very least, it could point to Chelsea growing tired of playing the waiting game. 

Let's take a look at some of the other buzz currently surrounding Manchester United. 


David Moyes Entering the Race for Gareth Bale?

Here's your humor piece for the day. 

According to the Independent's Ian Herbert and Glenn Moore, Manchester United is seriously considering going after Gareth Bale:

Manchester United may offer competition to Real Madrid in the pursuit of Gareth Bale this week, with Tottenham Hotspur seemingly more receptive to the English champions, having become deeply frustrated by negotiations with the Spanish side.

United have not made a firm offer for Bale and, as the transfer window enters its last three weeks, they will be acutely aware of any attempt to use them as a way of flushing out a serious bid from the Bernabeu, at a time when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is beginning to doubt whether the Spaniards actually possess the funds.

You see, this is why people don't take transfer rumors seriously. 

Tottenham didn't budge on £100 million bid from Real Madrid, but they are going to sell Bale to their EPL foes? Why would Manchester United even consider wasting time with such a proposition?

Bale is obviously a burgeoning superstar with enticing talent, and any club would be more than ecstatic to acquire him. But don't plan on this one coming to fruition this summer. 


Napoli In on Ezequiel Garay?

Manchester United have shown plenty of interest in Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, but according to Tuttosport (h/t Forza Italian Football), the Red Devils are now going to have to beat out Napoli for his services:

Along with Cardozo, 26-year-old Argentine defender Garay is a player being targeted by the Azzurri. He is aided by the fact that he holds a Spanish passport making him an attractive proposition to coach , who is on the lookout for a new defender and a backup striker.

Tuttosport reports that the two clubs discussed the pair on Friday, and an offer of around €20 million should be sufficient to prize the Argentine international away from the Estadio da Luz, while the experienced stopper would want a contract worth €2m a season.

Garay has always been an intriguing target. A strong, intelligent central defender who is good in the air and has Champions League experience, he would give the Red Devils important depth in the middle of their aging defense. 

Alas, the man they seemed to have locked up a while ago is looking less and less likely to be a future fixture at Old Trafford.

Keep an eye on this one.