The transfer window doesn’t close until the end of August so Chelsea are not under any time pressure to get a deal done for Wayne Rooney quickly.
While it’s not ideal for clubs to bring in players after the start of the season, various talks and delays, and in this case plans, mean that sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Chelsea’s apparent plan, masterminded by Jose Mourinho, seems to be pinned on Rooney getting a terrible reception from Manchester United supporters when he turns out for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match which takes place on August 9.
That will be the first chance to gauge how the majority of Manchester United fans feel about the way Rooney’s future and a possible transfer away from the club has unfolded this summer.
United also have a home match in the Premier League before the close of the transfer window, which is ironically against Chelsea.
If the public support is quite obviously against Rooney in the form of boos or chants which don’t exactly cover him in glory, then it will be a good indication for Chelsea over how aggressively they should approach a second bid.
All Rooney seems to have wanted is a little bit of love and affection from the fans and a slight change in the way he’s used in the Old Trafford squad.
If it’s clear that the fans don’t want him at the club or that it could be very difficult for them to forgive the way he’s behaved, it makes it easier for Chelsea to sign him.
No player wants to be at a club where they are not liked or where the fans really don’t seem overly concerned by that player’s presence in the squad, looking to others to drive the side on to success and silverware.
It’s a risk by Chelsea because it reduces the realistic amount of time in which they could do a deal for Rooney.
United are not a side that will be likely to go into the new season with question marks hanging over any key players. It’s unlikely that they would sell Rooney after the first Premier League game of the season because that’s not the way they do their business.
August 17 is likely to be the cut-off point as far as United are concerned so if this report of a plan by the Times is accurate, it gives Chelsea a very small pocket of time to try and pull off a deal with a second bid.
That’s a small time frame which United could easily ride out. Regardless of whether Rooney is popular with the fans or not, David Moyes has insisted that he’s a very important player ahead of the new season and the only way he’ll win over any boo boys at Old Trafford is through playing out of his skin.
What do you think? Good plan by Mourinho?
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