The Blues unsuccessfully chased Rooney in the summer with Mourinho looking to buy a new striker in his second stint at the club. The former Real Madrid manager had to settle for Samuel Eto’o, but could yet reignite his interest in the England international.
Manchester United rebuffed both bids for Rooney from Chelsea, as new manager David Moyes refused to sell to a title rival. Rooney had told former manager Sir Alex Ferguson he wants to quit but Moyes was adamant he would not be sold.
In what has been a sub-par season for United so far, Rooney has been the standout performer for the under-fire Moyes. He seems like the Wayne Rooney of old and is revelling in his preferred position as a striker.
However, the 28-year-old has just 18 months left on his current deal but Moyes has already stated that no talks are scheduled over a new deal. With United’s shortcomings this season, there has been renewed speculation regarding the forward’s future at Old Trafford.
Some reports have even suggested that Chelsea have been placed on red alert due to United’s refusal to discuss a new deal at this stage.
Rooney has questioned United’s ambitions in the past and with the Red Devils struggling to even make a top-four berth this season, the striker could be tempted to switch allegiances in January.
Chelsea are rumoured to make a move for his services in the winter window, with all current strikers on their books misfiring. Their strike trio of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Eto’o have astonishingly scored only four league goals between them and it makes stark reading when compared to Luis Suarez, who has scored 15 league goals for Liverpool after serving a five match suspension this season.
According to ESPN, Mourinho was coy about signing Wayne Rooney from Manchester United in January. When asked about a potential transfer, he said, “Who links us with him?”
Mourinho claimed that there will be no ins and outs in January, unless in special circumstances. He said, “The market opens in January, but as I was saying, I don’t think we will be there, buying or selling. If something happens it will happen [with] one player because the occasion was very good, because something happened that push us in that direction, but we are not smelling the market and waiting desperately for Jan. 1 to do something. We always thought to try the best with this team and wait for the right moment to improve the squad and be strong.”
Although Mourinho is quite content with his striker’s work-rate, he did hint at a new striker who could give a different option to the team. He added, “Some strikers are players with fantastic individual qualities and they can by themselves do what their team is not able to do. The world has a lot of examples. Teams not playing especially well, but they have certain kind of individual players that by themselves can be the solution for the team problems.”
“Our strikers are not individual players with this kind of quality, this potential. They are more in the team dynamic. They do other things for the team. At the moment, the number of goals is frustrating, not just for me but especially for them, but their contribution is good.”
“The other players [at Chelsea] are scoring goals — this is also because of the work our strikers do. By themselves, they resolve problems. We don’t have this kind of striker. We have to organise in a different way.”
“Do I expect them to score a little bit more [from the strikers]? Yes. Do we need a bit more? Yes, but we cannot expect Demba Ba or Fernando Torres will get a ball, run and dribble and score like [Luis] Suarez, [Sergio] Aguero. No. They are different type of players.”