Word was circulating towards the tail end of last week that Chelsea had upped the ante in the chase for Wayne Rooney by tabling a substantial bid with Manchester United. Although confirmation of the bid has not been heard from either club, this does not necessarily give the lie to the rumour. With showdown talks due next week between the player, his representatives, and the club to clarify the matter, the Old Trafford outfit will not welcome the rumours. To add to the pot, Arsenal are rumoured to have entered the bidding over the weekend with a £20million offer.
To quote the old Clash song, the summer to date has been very much a case of “Should I stay or should I go?” for Rooney. It’s been very hard to discern the truth of the state of commitment between player and club. Statements from now-retired manager Sir Alex Ferguson were clear that the player had asked for a move, but Rooney’s representatives have staunchly denied this. Regardless however, the temperature has fluctuated between a probable settling down of the issue, and then a further blowing up. The appointment of David Moyes as Ferguson’s successor cannot have done much to settle the volatile Rooney temperament. The history between them is less than golden, with legal cases regarding books and apparent statements of fact causing an air of mistrust. Couple this with an apparent interest from a Premier League rival or two, and any ‘clear the air’ talks are likely to be interesting to say the least.
From a Chelsea perspective, it’s interesting to note that although Jose Mourinho has apparently been given a substantial war chest of transfer funds, recently bolstered by a major kit deal with Adidas, spending to date has been very subdued. The acquisition of Schurrle for some £19million is the only purchase to date. This clearly suggests that there’s more to come, and somewhere along the line, there’ll be a major splash. Mourinho does love to lay out the lucre.
Without doubt, the major deficiency in the Chelsea squad is the lack of a top line striker. Although seemingly locked into a ‘love me unto death’ embrace with Fernando Torres, this isn’t a tryst to which Mourinho is signed up, and providing the squad with a razor sharp cutting edge is a fundamental requirement for the Portuguese.
It is of course possible that the leaking of the news of the “Rooney bid” is a ploy by the Blues to convince the clubs of other Chelsea targets that they aren’t the only games in town. Negotiations with Napoli over Cavani have stalled due to the fee required by the Italians, and although Lewandowski remains a viable alternative, the player apparently remains fixed on a move to Bayern Munich.
At the end of the day, the information that I have, and it isn’t very much, is that Rooney will in all probability remain at Manchester United, but the way things have been going in this story, who knows!