London - Jose Mourinho has claimed Chelsea only moved to sign Wayne Rooney
because Manchester United manager David Moyes suggested the striker was
no longer his first choice.
Mourinho and his Chelsea team head to
Old Trafford to face United later on Monday with the transfer saga
surrounding Rooney still unresolved.
The Blues boss has already
had two bids of up to 25 million (29 million euros) turned down, but he
plans to return with a third offer for the England forward after
Monday's Premier League clash, despite being told the former Everton
star is not for sale.
Mourinho, asked if his attempts to sign
Rooney would spark an angry response from the Old Trafford crowd, made
it clear he believes Moyes is the one who provoked the situation by
admitting in pre-season that he sees Robin van Persie as his number one
"Why? They (the United fans) are against me?" Mourinho
said. "But I didn't say (to Rooney) you will be a second choice for me.
And they are against me?
"We are trying to get a player that the manager told 'you will be a second option'. We are not going for (Robin) van Persie.
don't have to be against me. If I say Ramires is a second option for me
and he plays when (Frank) Lampard is tired or injured, if somebody
comes here to get Ramires, nobody is upset."
Asked if Moyes is culpable for the Rooney situation, Mourinho replied: "Of course."
Mourinho, who on Sunday agreed a deal to sign Brazilian playmaker
Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala, can prise Rooney from United by the
September 2 close of the transfer window, it would be a significant
It would also force one of Chelsea's existing three
strikers, Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba, to seek a new
club, with Mourinho conceding he may have to off-load players to make
room for the new arrivals
"I told the players that I want a squad of 22 (players)," he said.
are professionals. They want to stay. But they know that, if somebody's
coming, it will be hard because, normally, somebody has to leave."
also responded to suggestions that Chelsea's pursuit of Willian was a
personal vendetta with Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, who had been on
the verge of signing the player before his fellow Portuguese stepped in
at the last minute.
Villas-Boas worked as a member of Mourinho's
backroom staff at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan before leaving to start
his own managerial career and it was claimed the pair were no longer on
But Mourinho said: "No, no way. Purely business."