Chelsea latest: Mou laughs at Roo-mours, Cole ashtrayed & Cahill out

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.

Why is Jose Mourinho laughing? Is it because he has a trick up his sleeve, he knows something he won't let the media on to, or is he literally laughing the transfer rumour off… a prospective switch that would be so audacious because of who would be the selling club.

Manchester United, the most magnetic force for Premier League crowns in the modern era but currently ninth in the Premier League table, doing business with one of their long-time rivals, Chelsea, by selling them one of their players who has epitomised English football and Red Devil culture for so long - Wayne Rooney, a forward in the middle of his prime years as a player and as an athlete.

Chelsea failed twice with bids in the summer… would a third be likelier in the middle of the season, when Robin van Persie's perpetually injured state means Rooney is required at Old Trafford more so than ever? Perhaps that is why Mourinho couldn't contain himself (see video below).

As quoted by Sky Sports, Mourinho clarified: 'The market is open in January but I don't think we will be buying or selling.'

With regard to David Luiz, apparently wanted by David Luiz, he said: 'There has been no contact from other clubs or from his people. Everything is clear. He's our player and we are happy he's back in a moment when we need him and John in defence.'

Looking ahead to the Crystal Palace clash and the congested fixture pile-up, Mourinho reminisced over how he fared during his first spell at Stamford Bridge and has insisted that rotation is key. Starting tomorrow… as Ashley Cole will make way for Dave and Gary Cahill will be dropped, too, for the sake of his medium and long-term fitness.

'I remember that we were successful in this period, we didn't lose matches and we had a few consecutive victories,' he is quoted by the club's official website to have said. 'I can remember that it was a successful period. We have to try to do the same, we know it's difficult, but it's difficult for us and everybody else.

'It's important to try not to kill some players by playing them in every minute of every game, even if they are important players for the team. My experience says it's important sometimes to give them a break and try to keep them in good condition.

'It's such a big accumulation of matches so it's important to try to keep them in good condition. I don't risk players so Cahill tomorrow is not involved. Is he injured? No, but he's almost injured, so we decided to kill the 'almost' and protect the little pain he's feeling in his quadriceps.'

On the rotations this weekend, he confirmed: 'I need the team to change, I need fresh people, I need [Cesar] Azpilicueta to play tomorrow and Ashley [Cole] to be fresh to play at Sunderland.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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