Wayne Rooney is expected to submit a formal transfer request to Manchester United as he looks to engineer his desired move to Chelsea. The Blues have so far had two bids rejected for the England forward, with United continuing to insist that that player is not for sale. But there now appears little doubt that Rooney wants to leave and is now faced with having to make that wish formal and public to try and force United’s hand.
Rooney trained with United’s reserves on Thursday, although that is apparently at the player’s insistence as he looks to get a full workout rather than the light session planned for the club’s first-teamers. Yet the fact that manager David Moyes has said that it is “unlikely” that Rooney will feature in Sunday’s Community Shield, despite being selected in England’s squad to face Scotland on Wednesday, throws his future into further doubt.
Chelsea remain determined to secure the 27-year-old, but United are particularly unwilling to sell him to what they view as one of their main rivals for the upcoming season’s Premier League title. The Independent reports that Rooney would be prepared to consider a move abroad, however his options are limited in that regard. While Paris Saint-Germain had been strongly linked earlier in the summer, the French champions have since spent big on striker Edinson Cavani. The Guardian, though, reports that Manchester United will block Rooney’s exit this summer, even if a transfer request is forthcoming.
Jose Mourinho has asserted that Rooney is Chelsea’s only remaining transfer target this summer, but an alternative has been suggested in Thursday’s rumor mill. Spanish publication Marca is among the outlets to report that Mourinho could be set for a reunion with Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian striker looks set to be imminently on the move, with his club, Anzhi Makhachkala, having suddenly decided to dramatically cut their budget, which has seemingly had no limits under billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov. As the highest-paid player in the world, Eto’o looks likely to be the first man that the struggling Russian side will look to shift.
Doing so may prove difficult, though, before his contract expires next summer. Mourinho managed Eto’o with success for the one season they were together at Inter Milan when the Italian side lifted the Champions League. Yet, the former Barcelona star was forced to sacrifice himself under the Portuguese boss by playing much of the campaign out wide. Now aged 32, it is difficult to envisage Chelsea being prepared to put together a package to bring Eto’o to Stamford Bridge.
At the other end of the age scale, Chelsea are one of the clubs to be linked to Santos starlet Victor Andrade. The 17-year-old has predictably been compared with his former Santos teammate Neymar and recently revealed that he is eager to follow the Barcelona forward and his godfather Robinho to Europe. With a contract that expires next year, that move could be sooner rather than later and the forward’s English representatives, NVA Entertainment Group, have claimed that the Premier League is very much an option.
"We can confirm that there is interest in England in Victor, and not unsurprisingly from some of the bigger clubs,” a spokesperson told Sky Sports. "Victor is a wonderful talent, but we and his family are calm and we are confident his future will be resolved at the right time, in the right way."