Mourinho calls on Rooney to break his silence over move
Chelsea manager says United striker should confirm his plans forth with as Moyes praises the player’s performance in disappointing showdown
Wayne Rooney needs to break his silence in the next day or two and either commit to Manchester United or say he wants to leave the club, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said as he urged his top target to end the transfer saga.
The London club have made two unsuccessful bids for the England striker and have not ruled out making a third with their pursuit of him coming after former United manager Alex Ferguson said in May that Rooney wanted to quit Old Trafford.
Rooney played the whole of Monday's 0-0 draw at home to the club chasing his signature with his manager David Moyes saying his performance on the pitch demonstrated his position on the matter without him actually needing to say it.
"I think the person that started the story has to finish the story," Mourinho said.
"A club like us, a manager like me and the people that work in the club with me, we are not silly to try to get a player from a big club, a club that does not sell what they don't want to sell, we are not silly to try something if somebody didn't start."
Asked if he meant he wanted Rooney to come out and say he wanted to stay or go, he replied: "Yes."
He added he would like that to happen in the next "24, 48 hours", because if Chelsea could not get Rooney they would sign someone else.
Rooney, who was cheered by his own fans and Chelsea's, who were singing "Wayne Rooney, we'll sign you next week", had the best goal-scoring chances in a poor game, including an attempt at an acrobatic volley in stoppage time.
"I think his performance tonight said enough, he closed two or three people down in the corner and I think the crowd realised the work he did," said Moyes, who has faced a barrage of Rooney questions since taking over the job last month.
"He was desperate to score, you could see that by the way he nearly scored with an overhead kick in injury time. So I think his actions tonight showed what he thought."
Chelsea's bid to sign Rooney added spice to the early season meeting between the two big guns, and Mourinho had stoked the fire by suggesting before the game that Moyes should shoulder the blame for the forward wanting to leave after suggesting he was a second-choice striker.
Despite calling for an end to the uncertainty over the future of Rooney, Mourinho did not quite finish courting him.
"I think the most important thing is he played very well, he was a real professional, he played for his club, played for the club that pays him, tried to win, tried to score, he was fantastic," Mourinho said.
"After that if he wants to leave he has to say. Or he has decided now that he doesn't want to leave anymore, it's his problem but I praise him because he was fantastic.
"He played a fantastic match under these difficult circumstances so I praise him."
As if to prove he was anything but second choice, Moyes named Rooney in his starting line-up for the biggest test of his short United career so far and he was delighted with the result.
"I was very pleased with his performance and I was very pleased with the reaction from the crowd," said the Scot, who has repeated the "he is not for sale" mantra whenever he has faced questions about Rooney.
"But I've got to say I didn't think it was unexpected. He's been great in training, the way he's trained and anyone who looks at him will notice he's slightly leaner looking. He worked hard, he tackled, he chased when we needed it."
The transfer window shuts on September 2 which means that whether Rooney adheres to Mourinho's two-day deadline or not, the football world will get a definitive answer by then.
Meanwhile, Moyes says his club have not made an offer for Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale, but he refused to deny an interest in the player.
Bale is poised to join Real Madrid for a world-record fee after several months of courtship by the Spanish giants, but reports emerged in the British media on Monday that a rival club had also shown an interest.
When asked if United had submitted a bid for Bale, Moyes said: "No".
However, he added: "Manchester United are always interested in the best players and the board and myself would always be looking to sign who we think are the best players, wherever they are."