Jose Mourinho subtly reminded Wayne Rooney today that he could not afford to be second choice at Manchester United in a season before a World Cup finals – and reiterated that Juan Mata and David Luiz would not be allowed to leave Chelsea this summer.
Chelsea arrived in Kuala Lumpur today ahead of the second game of their Asia tour on Sunday against a Malaysian select XI and announced before their press conference in the city that they would not be taking any questions about Rooney after yesterday’s dispute with Manchester United. United have also instructed their players not to discuss the Rooney issue.
Chelsea confirmed yesterday that they had made a bid for Rooney, understood to be worth around £20m, but accused United of wrongly briefing that they had been offered Mata or Luiz as part of the deal.
Asked today if there was any possibility of Luiz and Mata leaving the club, Mourinho replied: ‘No chance, no chance’. Asked whether the two players would be at Chelsea next season he said: “Yes. For me that's enough.”
Mourinho was asked about the World Cup next summer by Malaysian reporters and how he would motivate his players with that tournament awaiting many of them next summer. He began by saying that it was up to professional footballers to concentrate completely on the team they were playing for at any given time.
He said: “I always say to my players that when they are with the national team they don't think about our club... but when they are with the club they have to forget the national team and give everything to the club.”
Mourinho added that many leading players would have to be first choice for their club sides in order to play for their national teams. While that certainly is the case for Fernando Torres, arguably Rooney will play for England should they qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals, regardless of his status at Manchester United.
Mourinho said: “At the same time, normally players who want to go to their national team and play for their country, normally they must be first choice players for their clubs and be playing regularly. That's the big motivation if you are thinking about playing at the World Cup.
“If they want to go to the World Cup and they're second choice at their club, then they're in trouble, they're in trouble.
“I think it's a crucial year for them. Many national team coaches are worried because they want players to play regularly for their clubs. They have to play for me to play for them. It's a combination. They must share the situation.”