Chelsea Transfer Rumours: What to Make of Latest Wayne Rooney Drama
Football fans would pay hard-earned money to relive it, and we don't even know how it's going to end.
That alone should tell you how much drama has surrounded the 27-year-old Englishman over the past three months.
The latest surrounding Rooney's "will he or won't he?" transfer journey is just another unceremonious chapter in what's been an offseason of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Red Devils in the David Moyes era.
Needless to say, conflicting reports abound.
One thing we do know is that Chelsea will remain interested in bringing Rooney to Stamford Bridge until the transfer window bell tolls on Sept. 2.
As reported by Fox Sports, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has not given up hope of securing United's blessing on a Rooney transfer. Mourinho loudly proclaimed in July that it was "Rooney or bust" for Chelsea, and it's a strategy he'll see through to the transfer finish line.
Sky News reported on Wednesday evening that Mourinho and the Blues were gearing up for a third official bid for Rooney after having their last two advances promptly rejected. But don't expect any movement on the standoff until after the Blues' visit to Old Trafford on Monday.
Percentage meter: What's the likelihood that Rooney suits up for Chelsea this year?
"I don't want Chelsea to do it before we go there," said Mourinho to Sky News and other reporters following his club's 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday. "Everybody in the club, in the board, they agree with me. They share that opinion."
"I think this period, by the ethical point of view, is a period where we're going to be quiet."
Regardless of the pure sportsmanship move to avoid drumming up an off-the-pitch storyline, Chelsea will not give up on Rooney until they are forced to do so by Premier League rules.
United are apparently easing into the idea that losing Rooney might not be so bad—a pill that's easier to swallow if a strong football talent arrives at Old Trafford to take his place.
According to Greg Stobart of Goal.com, Moyes and the Red Devils have reportedly re-opened negotiations with their Premier League rivals in hope that Juan Mata will be included in any sort of Rooney swap.
Stobart claims that the main purpose of United reaching out to the Blues centers around the valuation of Rooney—Chelsea's last bid was £30 million and the Red Devils are holding out for a sum closer to £40 million.
The reigning champs also wanted to check on the availability of the Spanish forward. His future in Mourinho's system is up in the air, but the Blues have so far been unrelenting in including the midfielder in any such deal.
Rooney's daily mood seems to be a topic of normal conversation with each passing evening.
On the same night that Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail reported that Rooney appeared unhappy leaving a "bonding" dinner with his teammates and Moyes, Jonny Fordham of The Sun reported that Rooney has told former United keeper Peter Schmeichel that he does not want to leave Old Trafford.
You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
So what does it all mean?
On the surface, it would appear that Rooney is unhappy with his role at Old Trafford and how things have been handled since Ferguson resigned and Moyes took his place. An injury further clouded Rooney's ability to just play ball, keeping him from proving to fans or his teammates that he just wants to help his current club repeat as league champions.
Reports like Fordham's continue to appear—former people associated with Manchester United or Rooney himself have done damage control to pose questions about why anyone would ever want to leave the Old Trafford behind.
Only Rooney knows if he really wants to transfer. With just 11 days before speaking out on his future is a moot point, don't expect Rooney to take that option seriously.
Despite all the noise, it's clear that Rooney can still play. One of just four players to record double-digit assist and goal totals in Premier League play last year, it's no surprise that Chelsea remain interested in the 27-year-old.
Mourinho and the Blues used the first part of the summer to upgrade the depth on their roster (Andre Schurrle, Mark Schwarzer, Marco van Ginkel) while using the second part to turn up the heat on United for Rooney.
The Blues should be encouraged if Stobart's report holds water. If United are reaching out, it means they are at least considering parting ways with Rooney—sending him to a league rival, to boot.
With Chelsea avoiding an official bid for Rooney until after their Week 2 EPL clash with United, don't expect anything on the Rooney front to be resolved before Tuesday morning. Heck, don't expect anything to be resolved until the 11th hour.
While we wait, the action on the pitch at Old Trafford should be a nice segue into what Rooney's future holds.
Maybe those majoring in film studies in college reading this should all start writing preliminary scripts for the Rooney '13 transfer movie.
You'll thank me one day.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter.
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