Man U rejects Rooney bid

Updated: 2013-07-19 07:34

By Associated Press in London (China Daily)

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Man U rejects Rooney bid

Chelsea's move for star striker blocked by English champion

Chelsea's ambitious bid to sign striker Wayne Rooney from Manchester United has been rejected by the Premier League champion.

The 27-year-old Rooney has pushed for a move since expressing frustration about his lack of playing time.

But Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, who succeeded his fellow Scot as manager in May, insisted Rooney was not available because he has two years left on his contract.

Despite those public statements, Chelsea maintained its pursuit of the England striker, culminating in a formal bid submitted to its Premier League rival.

The London club confirmed the bid to deny reports it had offered midfielder Juan Mata or defender David Luiz as part of a $15 million offer.

"The official bid was just about a certain amount of money ... not one single player was involved in our bid," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday after a 1-0 victory over Thailand's All-Star team during a preseason tour of Asia.

And Mourinho said United "knows we want the player."

"We did what we have to do in a proper way, in an ethical way," said Mourinho. "We feel very happy with our behavior because it was clean ... we made the bid and now it is up to Man United and now it is up the player."

Asked whether Chelsea's transfer plans amounted to "Rooney or bust, Mourinho replied: "Yes."

Rooney also sought to leave United in 2010 but backed down after negotiating a new and improved contract with the club.

Back then, despite underperforming at the 2010 World Cup, Rooney was widely considered among the world's top strikers.

Now he is no longer the No 1 choice at United, slipping behind Robin van Persie at Old Trafford last season and often playing in central midfield.

"He is a little bit frustrated at being taken off," Ferguson said in May when revealing Rooney's transfer request before retiring.

Neither Rooney nor his management team disputed Ferguson's version of events or said the player was committed to United.

Moyes has made it clear he wants Rooney to remain among the striking options for his first season in charge of the 20-time English champion.

"If for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we are going to need him, and I want as many options as possible," Moyes said over the weekend.

Before Chelsea made its bid, Mourinho publicly lavished praise on Rooney and said England's 2014 World Cup hopes could be jeopardized if first-team opportunities were limited at United.

"If Wayne is a second choice for Man United, then the national team will be affected," Mourinho said on Tuesday.

(China Daily 07/19/2013 page22)