The Blues drew 0-0 at Old Trafford against the Red Devils as Wayne Rooney shone, despite the dullness of the result. Mourinho had been publicly declaring his interest in the England number 10 in recent weeks and Chelsea were expected to launch a third bid, despite United and David Moyes’ insistence the striker would not be sold.
What a difference a day makes – following Monday’s game, Mourinho handed Rooney an ultimatum, effectively giving the 27-year-old 48 hours to make up his mind about whether he wanted to stay at United or force a switch to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho really put himself out there with his statement that implied Rooney needed to hand in a written transfer request at Old Trafford to get the move off the ground but it seems the player had other ideas.
Rooney seems to have performed a 180-degree turn on his desire to leave Old Trafford. After a summer saga that has seen him featured in the back page headlines every day for the last three months, his performance on Monday was enough to incite the club to offer him a new contract which it would appear he is now considering negotiating.
Rooney had verbally requested a transfer in May, according to Sir Alex Ferguson and, with his current deal expiring in 2015, the club were keen to get assurances from the player on his future. Meanwhile, Rooney had underperformed somewhat and had the limelight stolen from him last term with the arrival of Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie.
Monday’s clash with Blues demonstrated not only Rooney’s quality which has never really been in doubt but also his commitment and hunger for a starring and starting role in Moyes’ team. He wants to play football and, judging by his display against Chelsea, he wants to play for Manchester United.
After all the umming and aaahing this summer, it now looks most likely that Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United where he could even sign a new contract over the course of the season and the only loser in the situation is a certain special one.
Jose Mourinho is not accustomed to losing – he very rarely allows it on the pitch and he certainly doesn’t abide it in his public relations – but this time, he is left looking like the fool.
His attempts to undermine David Moyes have backfired and served only to strengthen the relationship between Manchester United and Wayne Rooney – in the grand scheme of things, Jose Mourinho’s ultimatum only scared Wayne Rooney away and threw him straight back into the arms of Manchester United.
In a roundabout way, Wayne Rooney has put Jose Mourinho firmly back in his place.
image: © tpower1978