Jose Mourinho liked what he saw from Wayne Rooney in Monday’s stalemate between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, and now he wants the England international to declare his wish to join the Blues.
UPDATE: Tuesday, August 27, at 12:30 p.m. BST
From Sky Sports:
Sky sources: Wayne Rooney will not hand in a transfer request #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 27, 2013
---End of update---
Rooney was the stand-out performer from either side in Monday’s 0-0 draw, during which both sets of fans sang his name, making it even less likely David Moyes will sell the forward to United’s Premier League rivals.
However, Mourinho used the occasion to remind everybody it was Rooney who declared his wish to leave the champions at the end of last season, and he now wants the player to do so again in order to secure his switch to Chelsea. David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror provides the quotes:
I think the person that started the story has to finish the story. A club like us, a manager like me, we are not silly to try to get a player from a big club that doesn’t sell who they don’t want to sell. We are not silly to try something if somebody didn’t start it.
So I think it is time, for the good of everyone, to finish the story. For one side, for the other side.
Mourinho even put a timeline on Rooney’s decision, answering “24 to 48 hours” according to Phil McNulty of BBC Sport when asked directly how long he was prepared to wait before moving to his secondary transfer target.
Who was the best player at Old Trafford?
That target is former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o, who will be offered a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge, according to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
Eto’o, who currently plays for Anzhi Makhachkala, would appear the more likely outcome for Chelsea, who will find stubborn negotiators in United following Rooney’s all-action display.
It was widely reported at the end of last season that Rooney’s main frustration at United was the lack of trust placed in him by Sir Alex Ferguson in big games. Rooney was overlooked in last term’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid, and Ferguson's revelation that the player wanted to leave followed soon after.
Moyes’ decision to place faith in the England forward, despite all the media focus surrounding him, bodes well for Rooney’s importance to United’s future under the new manager.
And after he turned in such an inspirational display, both defensively and in attack, it would be a huge call from Moyes to allow Rooney to boost Chelsea’s title bid for the rest of the season.