Jose Mourinho has revealed that Wayne Rooney is Chelsea’s only transfer target after it emerged that the club have had a bid rejected for the England forward. The official approach came on the back of the strongest suggestion yet that Rooney was determined to leave Old Trafford with it emerging that he was “angry and confused” by recent comments from manager David Moyes suggesting that he would have to play second fiddle to Robin van Persie. Mourinho, who has previously expressed his admiration for Rooney, confirmed that a bid had been made and that he was now the sole focus of Chelsea’s transfer dealings.
“I think that this situation is clear -- nothing is a secret anymore," he said during a press conference in Bangkok. "We want the player. We made the bid and now we have nothing more to say. Now it's up to Manchester United." Asked if Chelsea had made any bids for other players, Mourinho responded: “No.” And questioned about whether it is now “Rooney or bust,” he replied: “Yes.”
Chelsea were forced to respond after news of the bid was leaked along with claims that Juan Mata and David Luiz were offered in part-exchange for Rooney. But that is something that both the club and Mourinho have strenuously denied. “The official bid is just about a certain amount of money and doesn't involve players,” Mourinho said.
While Mourinho may say that Rooney is the only option, other forwards could well be pursued if Rooney is unable to be pried from Old Trafford. Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke has been cited as a target and Chelsea attacking midfielder Eden Hazard has said that he feels his fellow Belgian could prosper at a place like Stamford Bridge.
After a debut Premier League season in which he scored 19 goals, Benteke has made his intention clear to play for a bigger club and has handed in a transfer request. While Tottenham appear favorites for his signature, Hazard certainly rates the 22-year-old’s abilities.
“Benteke is my friend, we get on very well,” he said, according to The Sun. “He had an unbelievable first season for a young striker in the Premier League. His dream is to play even higher and I think he’s got all the attributes to do well at a big club.”
While the tabloid has made much of the comments, they have little or no significance. With Benteke said to prefer a move to Tottenham because of the greater opportunities for regular first-team action, Chelsea will have to convince the player otherwise as well as matching Villa’s reported £25 million valuation.
Another speculated target is Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Questions have been raised about the brilliant Swede’s future after just 12 months in the French capital following the massive signing of fellow-striker Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan’s former president at Napoli Aurelio de Laurentiis even said that Ibrahimovic would now be leaving. And the Daily Star believes that Chelsea are one of the clubs that would be interested.
Mourinho has previous experience of handling Ibrahimovic with success, having claimed the Serie A title with Inter Milan in 2009. But the 31-year-old’s massive salary makes a move unlikely.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea are also keen on Cesc Fabregas. Manchester United made a bid of €30 million (£25.9m) for the midfielder earlier this week and that is said to have awoken interest from the Blues, Manchester City and Arsenal. The Gunners have first refusal on Fabregas from when the he left the Emirates for Spain in 2011.
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has said that Fabregas does not want to leave the club, although various reports believe that there may still be a chance for a move. While supremely talented, Fabregas is not, though, the type of player particularly needed at Stamford Bridge.