Jose Mourinho has promised to delay a new bid for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney until after Monday clash between the two sides due to an ethical belief that they shouldn’t further unsettle their top transfer target.
The two are set to meet in Barclays Premier League in what will be United’s second game of the new campaign, while Chelsea sit three points clear already having beaten Aston Villa 2-1 last night thanks to a Branislav Ivanovic winner.
Speaking after the match, Mourinho admitted that both he and club officials agree another offer shouldn’t be made until after the match, with the belief that one before the game would be disrespectful to the Premier League champions.
“I don't want Chelsea to do it before we go there,” said Mourinho. “Everybody in the club, in the board, they agree with me. They share that opinion.
“I think this period, by the ethical point of view, is a period where we're going to be quiet.”
Mourinho has made it clear that his number one target is the 27-year-old forward, who is unhappy with life at Old Trafford having fallen out with the club in recent months.
Rooney came off the bench during Saturday evening’s 4-1 victory over Swansea, and provided two assists for Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck in the closing stages, although he was pictured walking back to the halfway line alone while the rest of the team celebrated together.
The England international is yet to speak publicly on the matter, but it is thought he favours a move to Chelsea as he looks for a fresh start, having been with United for nine seasons since his £25m move from Everton in 2004.
Although Mourinho already has three strikers to choose from in Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Damba Ba, he is still keen to add to his squad, and reports have suggested Malaga are interested in signing Ba if Chelsea complete a swoop for Rooney.
Before the Villa match, Mourinho did admit that should they fail to sign Rooney, he did have other options that he could explore.
“We have plans B and C. Don't ask me names because it's difficult to speak about players from other clubs,” admitted Mourinho, after the Blues had been linked with a move for Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o.
The Cameroonian is on the lookout for a new club with the Russian side looking to trim their wage bill, and Eto’o has already expressed his desire to work with Mourinho once more, having played under his guidance at Inter Milan.
The Italian side have also shown an interest in the 32-year-old, and they may look to push through a deal while Mourinho is tied-up in his chase for Rooney.