All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the latest development surrounding interest in Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
Chelsea's primary summer transfer target, Wayne Rooney, has maintained such exquisite form this season - for both club; Manchester United, and country; England - that he has effectively made himself indispensable.
In 835 minutes of Premier League football alone, his all-round game and versatility is demonstrated by his 460 pass attempts, a tackling success of 83%, shooting on target 15 times out of 27 attempts, is adept at crossing, a prolific chance creator (17) and has been responsible for nine goals (five goals himself, four assists). He also runs between 11,000km and 12,000km per match.
His statistics are all the more impressive when one looks at the way he is utilised by manager David Moyes, behind the talismanic strike leader and Rooney's partner; Robin van Persie. Wayne, therefore, is operating at a deeper level but still responsible for either creating or scoring a goal every 92 minutes.
Rooney has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £40m but has been linked with transfers away from Old Trafford throughout the current campaign and, in October alone, saw his name associated with Paris Saint Germain (The Sun, Metro) and Chelsea (Metro, for £35m).
However, the speculation may cease to exist in the coming weeks as latest developments indicate that Rooney will be offered a whopping £52m to stay away from Chelsea and remain loyal to the United cause. That £52m would be spread over the course of four years, meaning he would be on a handsome salary of £250,000, which Express claim he is already pocketing.
Behind-the-scenes footage is always an intriguing insight into life away from the pitch and one of the things manager Jose Mourinho does prior to a match, perhaps with a consistency that has turned it into a routine, is read passages from the Bible.
'Before a game, in my room, I open the bible and read from a chapter for a couple of minutes. It always gives me a positive feeling,' Express (again) quote Mourinho to have muttered.
The Portuguese was recently in the crowds watching Belgium lose to Colombia, where it is alleged that he was scouting AS Monaco penalty-box striker; Radamel Falcao, however, during the game, he was subject to catcalling from the Belgian supporters whenever he was pictured on the big screen inside the stadium.
Kevin de Bruyne insists he is not bothered by the negative, pantomime villain attention because… well, he's used to it: 'Our coach doesn’t care,' he's quoted by the Daily Mail to have said. 'He’s used to being booed, and I don’t think it would have bothered him at all.'
And finally, check out Petr Cech's spot-kick save…
image: © nasmac