Jose Mourinho made no secret of his admiration of the United striker, paying Rooney a number of compliments. Moyes quickly countered by insisting that his player is not for sale but Chelsea upped their game this week by lodging a bid with United.
Chelsea were immediately rebuffed by Mourinho is no longer being coy about his desire to sign Rooney and earlier this week said:
“We want the player. Now it’s up to Manchester United.”
Asked if Rooney is his one and only target the returning Chelsea manager replied:
“Yes. I think that this situation is clear – nothing is a secret any more.
“The official bid is just about a certain amount of money and doesn’t involve players. We made the bid and now we have nothing more to say.”
United appear unwavered in the face of overt Chelsea interest but speaking at a football conference held by Twitter in London this evening, Holt believes United will eventually fold and sell the striker to their Premier League rivals.
Asked where he thinks Rooney will be playing this season, Holt replied:
“I kind of feel it might be Chelsea, I’ve felt that for a long time.
“The problem with that is this idea that United won’t sell to another Premier League club and I can understand the logic of that, but then equally they are not going to want an unhappy Wayne Rooney. And I think that is very clearly what he is.
“They are not going to want an unhappy Wayne Rooney, a malign influence hanging around the United dressing room. So my guess I think that Mourinho is already playing a clever, manipulative game and winding United up properly. My guess would be Chelsea.”
United currently hold the cards and whilst they can hold onto Rooney and let his contract expire in 2 seasons, it doesn’t represent good business for a club with United’s stature in the business world. It is unlikely that the Glazers will allow the striker to leave for free when they can get a fee for him.
So it appears the question is no longer ‘will Rooney be staying?’ but instead ‘How much can United get for him?’