Did Rooney use Mourinho interest to earn new United contract?

Marcel Desailly has questioned whether Wayne Rooney ever wanted to join Chelsea this summer, and claims he may have used their interest to earn a new contract.

The England international fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson towards the end of last season, believed to be sparked when he was left out of the crucial UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid. The Scot has since claimed that the striker asked to leave Manchester United, which in turn led to much speculation during the summer window.

Although Ferguson is no longer in charge of the Reds having called time on his sensational 26-year reign, it was widely reported that Rooney was keen on a move to Chelsea. And whilst Jose Mourinho was more than prepared to welcome the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge, he failed with two offers for his signature before giving up.

Throughout this time David Moyes insisted that Rooney was not for sale at any price, despite his contract now into its final two years. And former Blues defender Desailly has now questioned whether the player was actually ever interested in a transfer, or if he was simply using the interest from Chelsea to prompt United to offer him a new deal.

“I wasn’t really sure he wanted to make a move to Chelsea,” he said in a CNN podcast. “I think it is more business, than a desire to move from the club. Three years ago he was very clever telling the club that he wants to move to Manchester City.  The club gave him the biggest salary and he signed a new contract. He doesn’t really want to move.”

Rooney appears to have been forgiven for his part in the summer saga by the United fans, who sang his name loud and proud when he scored the second goal of a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. It has been reported that he will now open talks with United over a new deal which could see him remain at Old Trafford for the rest of his career.

Mourinho, meanwhile, must have wished he could have counted on Rooney on Saturday evening when new signing Samuel Eto’o failed to make the most of two clear chances in the 1-0 defeat at Everton. And with £50million flop Fernando Torres once more struggling to find the back of the net, the Londoners are lacking a cutting edge in attack.


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