Wayne Rooney accepts he will stay at Manchester United but unresolved issues remain
Published 28/08/2013 | 05:29
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney has accepted that he will not leave the club this summer and will not push the issue any further this week with a transfer request, although it is understood that the player believes there remain unresolved issues.
In private, the response to Jose Mourinho's ultimatum on Monday night that Rooney should make clear his intentions within "24, 48 hours" has been that the player accepts the status quo for now.
He will not push any harder for a transfer before the window closes on Monday night; in fact, he has as yet to utter any word in public on the subject, although there is no doubt as to his original intention to join Chelsea this summer.
Rooney is well aware that there is complete unity between United's manager, David Moyes, executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, and the club's owners, the Glazers, that he will not be sold to Chelsea at any price this week despite having only two years left on his contract. As a result he feels he cannot burn his bridges at United by pushing hard for a transfer in the last week of the window.
Nevertheless, he still has issues over what he regards as unfair treatment in recent months, chiefly the assertion by the former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, now a director, after the last game at Old Trafford last season that Rooney asked for a transfer. Moyes' remark during United's summer tour that Rooney would be a back-up for when Robin van Persie is injured is less of a concern.
After United's game against Chelsea on Monday night Moyes said that the quality of Rooney's performance had not surprised him and that the player was looking "leaner" than he had done in the recent past. The United approach has not changed towards Rooney throughout the summer. They hope that he will rediscover his affinity for the club and potentially sign a new contract, but losing him for free would be preferable to selling him to Chelsea.
It is United's view that, whatever the financial disadvantage of losing Rooney for nothing in two years' time, it would be far outweighed in what they would lose in terms of prestige, not to mention the advantage on the pitch, were they to sell him to Chelsea this summer.
After the match on Monday, the United defender Nemanja Vidic, said that there had never been any doubt that Rooney would get the positive reception from the home fans at Old Trafford that he received on Monday night. "The supporters have always supported the players," he said. "Wayne is no different. Wayne has been supported throughout the years. I don't think there was a question he would have been supported. He has scored so many goals and won so many trophies. I expected him to receive a good reception."
It leaves Chelsea with some more work to do in the transfer market before Monday. The club expect to sell Demba Ba, whom they regard as having been a huge disappointment since his arrival in January. At the very least they expect the player, who did not even travel with the squad for the game in Manchester, will go out on loan. There have been talks with Anzhi Makhachkala over Samuel Eto'o, 32, with a provisional deal in place for the possibility that Rooney would not sign.
Buy now, sell later for Levy
Gareth Bale's move to Real continues to drag on with Spurs' chairman, Daniel Levy, determined to sign his replacements, including the Roma winger Erik Lamela, before he sanctions the sale.
Lamela, 21, and the Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, 23, are Spurs' immediate targets. Spurs feel the Bale deal will be done – there will be no discussion of a move to another club – although they refuse to say so until they have made acquisitions. Bale did not train with Spurs today but there are no issues around his absence.