Jose Mourinho at Chelsea: new manager opens door to Wayne Rooney transfer by telling Manchester United striker to move 'where he will find happiness'
The Chelsea manager claims the unsettled England striker 'is a little bit like me' while giving no assurances over the future of Fernando Torres
Jose Mourinho has told Wayne Rooney to base the decision on his future on what makes him happiest rather than on money, as the new Chelsea manager arrived to a barrage of questions on what his club’s next move will be in the transfer market.
The England striker's future is still uncertain following Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he had asked to leave the club and the 27-year-old will be a target for Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League if Manchester United permit him to be sold this summer. With Arsenal already discussing the possibility of a move for the player, Chelsea would also be interested in Rooney.
Mourinho said: "I think he [Rooney] is at a fantastic age for a player: maturity, big experience, still young. It's up to him and what he wants, what makes him happy. He's a little bit like me: he doesn't need one more pound in his contract. One more cup won't make a different. Be happy. Where is he happy? Where will he find more happiness to have ambition and drive him? I like him as a boy. I wish him well and hope he is happy."
Pushed on whether he would be interested in signing the player, Mourinho said: "I learned a few things. One of them is I don't comment on players from other teams. No chance. No chance."
In a wide-ranging briefing with newspaper reporters following his introductory press conference in front of the television cameras, Mourinho said that he did not take the fact that both Manchester United and Manchester City had overlooked him as a slight. "As I said before, I am where I want to be. You tell me now every job in the football world at this table, I would choose my job. So I have the job I want to have."
Non-confrontational, there was only the occasional flash of Mourinho's famous dismissiveness. He was curt when asked how he felt about the long-term pursuit of Pep Guardiola by Roman Abramovich, which came to an end in January when the former Barcelona coach agreed to take over at Bayern Munich from next month.
Mourinho said that the topic had never come up in his discussions with Abramovich. "I didn't ask him [the Chelsea owner]," Mourinho said. "I don't know and I don't care. Really. Roman never asked me if I had contact with other clubs, so I never asked him."
There was significant importance placed by Mourinho on improving the squad that he had rather than simply, in his words, asking "for money with a lot of zeros [at the end]" to buy new players. He was lukewarm about the future of Fernando Torres, the club's £50m record signing who has struggled to deliver what his reputation promised since his move in January 2011.
Mourinho said "He [Torres] is a Chelsea player with a contract. He's more than happy to stay and work hard, and I think he deserves respect from me, especially, and the club. That respect starts by speaking with him face-to-face and deciding what is the best for all of us. If the best for all of us is for Fernando to stay, let's help him and try and get the best out of him."
Mourinho also promised that there would be no "privileges" for the old guard who worked with him first time around, including John Terry who has not yet been offered the contract extension beyond his existing deal, which expires in 12 months, that Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have been granted.
Asked whether Terry would still be his captain, Mourinho said: "At this moment, when you say 'my captain', it's not the real world. He's more Chelsea captain. 'My captain' is the board's captain, the fans' captain. I don't think the manager's captain is the correct word.
"John is the club captain. I'm more than happy with that, so are the fans, so I think he has to be the club captain. With the armband? Only if he plays. If he isn't in the starting XI, he won't have the armband ... it has to be like that."
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