Former Manchester United chief executive David Gill has revealed that Wayne Rooney was never joining Chelsea despite the Blues submitting two separate bids for the England striker.
Manager Jose Mourinho was determined to sign the 27-year-old as he searched for a forward to lead their talented attack, with neither Fernando Torres nor Demba Ba convincing in front of goal.
It appeared that the Portuguese called off his pursuit – at least for the short-term – when he signed 32-year-old Samuel Eto’o, who has struggled in his early outings for Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Rooney has made a superb start to the season with United, culminating in his two-goal man of the match performance against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday which saw him net his 200th goal for the club.
And Gill, who left his role as chief executive in the summer to become a director of the Premier League champions as well as a member of Uefa’s executive committee, has said that United are not in the business of strengthening their rivals.
"We are not in the business of strengthening our key competitors in England," Gill told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.
"You have to see our response when Gabriel Heinze wanted to join Liverpool (in 2007).
"We went to a Premier League arbitration panel to show that we didn't commit to him moving within England for a certain sum of money.
"We wanted to keep (Rooney) in any event and not sell him overseas.
"You don't win football matches with money in the bank.
"You want players on the pitch. Wayne Rooney has been, and will continue to be I am sure, a great player for Manchester United."
United are determined to tie him down to an extended contract, although his current £250,000-a-week wages are providing a stumbling block as it has been said that the club would like to reduce the salary – something that Rooney would deem unacceptable.
There is the possibility – though unlikely – that the striker could buy himself out of the final year of his contract to link-up with Mourinho at Chelsea, but United would do all they can to prevent that from happening.
"Yes, I am sure they will look at it," said Gill when asked about Rooney’s contract situation.
"We have an approach to dealing with players' contracts at Manchester United that has stood us in good stead for many years.
"I am sure (executive vice-chairman) Ed (Woodward), (manager) David (Moyes) and the owners will continue with that policy."
Gill also defended the pair after they had received criticism from fans for a lack of transfer activity in the summer, when a deadline day move for Marouane Fellaini saw them pay £4m more than they could have done had they signed him earlier.
"There is a degree of calmness," said Gill.
"I have been around for many transfer windows and I can remember ones when we were under a lot of pressure.
"Manchester United won the league by 11 points last year. We have a very good squad.
"I believe we approached it correctly but fans always want more players coming in.
"They see other clubs doing business and think 'why aren't we?'
"But within a football club you have to do what you think is right and not react to every media pressure."
Some fans at Old Trafford were glad when Gill announced his departure, having himself received criticism for his U-turn on the Glazier’s ownership of the club following their takeover in 2005 that solidified their place as the club’s owners.
An estimated £680m has been shelled out as part of the acquisition of the club and the refinancing deals that came with it, but after the club posted record profits earlier this month, Gill believes the club is in good hands moving forward.
"Football has done very well over the last five years," he said.
"Within that, Manchester United is a very well-organised club and I have no doubt Ed and his team will take it on to new heights.
"The owners came in, saw the opportunities and possibilities and were prepared to invest in it, either through staffing in London, setting up an office in Hong Kong or a future office in America.
"All that hard work is now paying off."
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