Jose Mourinho may be forced to accept defeat in his pursuit of Wayne Rooney, with The Guardian reporting that a firm decision has been taken by Manchester United not to sell the unsettled forward to Chelsea for any price. Chelsea have had two bids rejected for Rooney thus far, the most recent of which totaled £25 million. However, the article states that United have never even put a valuation on the England international’s head, with owners the Glazer family seeing it as a matter of principal not to succumb to player power and allow Rooney to join one of their major rivals.
Manchester United manager David Moyes reiterated the stance on Thursday. “There have been no more developments and we don't want any more developments because we have told everybody -- which I have said before -- he is not for sale,” he told Sky Sports News.
It remains to be seen whether United will indeed retain their resolve, or whether a greatly increased offer, or indeed if they were to sign a replacement, could change the situation. Certainly, though, the chances do not look good for Chelsea, less than three weeks before the end of the transfer window, of securing a player that Mourinho claimed was their only target.
Still, another forward has been suggested as an alternative to Rooney in recent days in Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian veteran is expected to leave Anzhi Makhachkala before the end of the transfer window after the Russian club decided to dramatically cut their budget. And Eto’o, 32, has expressed his interest in reuniting with Mourinho, who coached him to Champions League success with Inter Milan in 2010.
But, the Daily Mirror has reported Eto’s camp as claiming that Manchester United are also interested, perhaps in an attempt to force Chelsea’s hand into getting a deal done. Eto’o is said to realize that he is currently a fallback option should the Blues fail to secure Rooney. The former Barcelona star has just a year remaining on his contract and would likely command a minimal fee, although it is still uncertain just how significant a cut he is prepared to take in the huge salary he earns at Anzhi.
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If there is another area of the Chelsea squad that Mourinho will still try to strengthen then it is likely to be in the defensive midfield position. The Blues have been linked with Daniele de Rossi, as well as a player Mourinho managed at Real Madrid, Sami Khedira.
Madrid-based publication Marca believes that the Germany international is unsure of his place in the side under new manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Spanish giants have singed midfielder Asier Illarramendi this summer, while Brazilian Casemiro has made a major impact in preseason in Khediara’s position. And Marca reports that Khedira’s representatives have now contacted French champions Paris Saint-Germain to inform them of the player’s willingness to depart the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, a player has left Stamford Bridge this week, albeit only on a temporary basis. Despite featuring in preseason, it was always expected that recent signing Wallace would move elsewhere on loan and the Brazilian right-back has now completed a season-long deal with Inter Milan. The 19-year-old, signed from Fluminense in January, although only arriving this summer, was unlikely to get a work permit in England at this stage.