Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho sets Wayne Rooney 48-hour deadline

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Wayne Rooney

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has given Wayne Rooney 48 hours to decide whether he wants to leave Manchester United and move to Stamford Bridge.

United say the striker is not for sale and he was outstanding as the sides played out a goalless draw on Monday.

But Rooney, 27, has indicated he wants to leave after being left 'angry and confused' by his role at United.

"One way or another he has to say 'I want to leave' or 'I want to stay'," said Mourinho.

"The person that started the story has to finish the story. For the good of everyone, it is time to finish the story."

Mourinho suggested the 27-year-old striker himself was the catalyst for Chelsea's move saying "he told someone very important in his career" that he wanted to leave United.

Asked how long he was prepared to wait before moving on to other targets - with Anzhi Makhachkala's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o understood to be the alternative - Mourinho replied: "Twenty-four hours, 48 hours."

He continued: "If you look at a manager like me, a club like us and the people who work at the club with me, we are not silly enough to try to get a player from a big club that doesn't want to sell.

"We are not silly enough to try something if somebody didn't start it."

He added: "After that, if he wants to leave he has to say - or if he has decided now he doesn't want to leave any more then he has to say."

The former Everton forward was given huge support throughout by United's fans - and indeed by Chelsea's supporters who want him to switch to Stamford Bridge.

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Manchester United have rejected two bids from the London club for the former Everton forward, while boss David Moyes has insisted all summer that Rooney will not be leaving Old Trafford.

"I was very pleased with his performance and I was very pleased with the reaction from the crowd," said Moyes.

"I think Wayne has a positive mind at the moment. I don't think he needs to change.

"I think his performance said enough. I think his actions showed what he thought."

Mourinho was also impressed by Rooney's display, despite the uncertainty surround the player's future.

The Blues boss said: "He was a real professional. He played for his club, the club that pays him, and tried to win.

"He tried to score. He played a fantastic match in difficult circumstances and I praise him. You have to say it was fantastic because many players in this situation can't express themselves."

Mourinho also praised the support Rooney received from United's supporters, saying: "It was fantastic. In other countries it would not be possible. It was very English."

But the Chelsea boss dismissed speculation that Juan Mata, left on the bench at Old Trafford, would be sold.

"He is very important to Chelsea and the stories coming out are nonsense. No chance - Juan goes nowhere," insisted Mourinho.

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