Jose Mourinho has admitted that he is a big admirer of Wayne Rooney, as reports continue to link Chelsea with a move for the Manchester United forward. Mourinho was quick to point out that he didn’t want to elaborate on the matter as Rooney remained a United player, but there was certainly an inference that Chelsea would pursue the England international should he be available.
"It's a tricky question because I cannot speak about players from other teams,” Mourinho said, according to Sky Sports. "But you know me, it's not my kind of character to speak with a bit of hypocrisy and I always say what I think. He is a player I like very much but I can say no more than that. Being fast and direct, I like that, but he's a Manchester United player."
United boss David Moyes has thus far not stated whether Rooney wants to stay at Old Trafford, but he did again reiterate that the 27-year-old was not for sale as well as responding that he didn’t think Mourinho was pot-stirring with his comments.
“I don't think so,” he said on United’s pre-season tour from where Rooney was sent home with a hamstring injury on Thursday. "People are entitled to talk about good players. I am being asked plenty about Wayne so I am sure Jose will be getting asked about lots of players as well. It is hard to keep repeating myself -- but I will do. Wayne is a Manchester United player and will remain that."
Chelsea’s search for a leading forward is continuing with the club looking likely to miss out on the signing of Stevan Jovetic. The Times believes that Manchester City are set to see off competition from both the Blues and Juventus to seal a deal for the Fiorentina forward. Agreeing a transfer fee remains the only hurdle, with the Times claiming the Serie A side are holding out for £30 million. Yet, Fiorentina had revealed earlier in the summer that there was an agreement with the Montenegro international that he could leave for €30 million (£25.9m).
Another Chelsea target could be far less expensive to acquire, with the lawyer of highly rated Sporting Lisbon youngster Bruma claiming that the winger no longer has a contract with Sporting Lisbon. Currently at the Under-20 World Cup, the 18-year-old has been the subject of initial bids of €8 million (£6.9m) from both Chelsea and Galatasaray, according to his agent.
Amid reports of a kidnapping attempt on the player earlier in the week, the situation has now been further complicated by a contract dispute. But Bruma’s lawyer, Beniano Gomes, believes the matter is now closed. “Now Bruma heads totally out of Sporting,” he told TV1. “If the case goes through the courts, no problem."
The matter is now likely to be resolved by FIFA. And Bruma revealed that he was disappointed by how the situation had been handled. "I deeply regret the outcome of this matter,” he said, according to A Bola. “I did everything to stay at Sporting and I made it clear to my representatives to try to reach an agreement. But after all this time, Sporting did little for me to renew. I want to avoid any sort of controversy with Sporting and especially with the fans. I am a professional and I will continue my career."
Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror is reporting that Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi. It is said that an £11 million deal could be on the cards for the Italy international, although Roma are also pushing to have Chelsea’s young Brazilian full-back Wallace move in the other direction on loan. The basis for the Mirror’s assertions is somewhat questionable, however. It is claimed that a transfer is close to completion after Roma agreed a fee for De Rossi’s replacement, Kevin Strootman. Yet, just yesterday PSV Eindhoven insisted that no offer had been made for the Netherlands international and they would not welcome one.