Mourinho challenges Rooney to show his cards
Jose Mourinho last night called out Wayne Rooney to make his position public in regards to whether he wants to leave Old Trafford for Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Chelsea manager was speaking after his sides scoreless draw at Manchester United last night and when questioned over his recent statement that his club would go back with a third bid, having had two rejected previously, after the match the Portuguese made clear the possibility of a transfer arose from Rooney’s camp admitting the player’s unhappiness at United.
“The person that started the story has to finish the story. A club like us, a manager like me, the people that work in the club with me… we are not silly to try to get a player from a big club that doesn’t sell what 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 was adamant that the only way the transfer could be resolved is if Rooney went public on his desire to join Chelsea and that with Samuel Eto’o awaiting news of Chelsea’s interest the England international would have to make his position known within the next two days.
“Yes, I would like [Rooney to go public]. We are going to close another player if he is not coming. It depends on this [Rooney’s decision]. It depends on his reaction and his feelings. If now he doesn’t want to leave, we are out of the thing. But we need to know. We need to know what is happening.”
The returning Chelsea manager said that Rooney made his interest in a move to the Europa League champions known through “somebody very important in his career.”
With his ultimatum made Mourinho guessed that the outcome would be that Rooney would remain with the Premier League champions, especially considering the support the Old Trafford crowd gave him by singing his name during a committed performance from the player.
“I think this club must be a very special club. In every other club in the world, when a player wants to leave, they don’t support him and give him a hard time.
“But they have supported him all the way, so I think this must be a very special club, with special fans. It was good, it was nice, it was very English. I think probably now, he decides that he wants to stay. If he makes that decision, we will be the first to respect that.”
United and David Moyes though were adamant that their position on Rooney has not changed and that the player’s performance was statement enough as to where he wishes to play his football this year.
“We have said from day one [that he’s not for sale]. You keep asking me and it is difficult but the answer is the same as day one. I was very pleased with his performance and I was very pleased with the reaction from the crowd. I expected it. I don’t know how many times I have to say it but he’s been great in training. I think anyone looking at him might see a leaner-looking Wayne.
“I said to him: ‘I might play you for only 60 or 70 minutes, see how you go.’ But no, he tracked back, he tackled, he chased when we needed it. I think Wayne has a positive mind at the moment. I don’t think it needs to change.
“His performance tonight said enough [rather than a public statement]. He closed two or three people down in the corner and the crowd recognised the work he did. He nearly scored with an overhead kick late on, so I think his actions tonight showed what he thought.”