Transfer news: Wayne Rooney and Manchester United could be moving closer to conciliation despite continued interest from Chelsea

Joking with the press is a sign Manchester United striker may be nearer making up than breaking away

the Liberty Stadium

"He's one of us," Michael Carrick said of Wayne Rooney late on Saturday night, the quiet man conjuring words which felt a so much more effective plea for a return to the fold than the more rehearsed "grass is always greener" message trotted out for Rooney all summer.

There are signs – fragile ones, still – that Rooney feels like one of the band again. When he walked around the player/media mixed zone on his way out of the Liberty Stadium, after Manchester United's 4-1 win over Swansea City, he grinned and laughed in the direction of a few journalists, the shared joke being that both sides knew that him stopping to discuss United was out of the question. This felt a long way from the last time he was at odds with the game – when he marched, sullen and stony-faced, out of mixed zones at the 2010 South Africa World Cup, his professional and personal worlds combusting all around him.

Other evidence scrambles the sense of a rapprochement, like Rooney not joining goal celebrations after arriving as a 62nd-minute substitute, but the general impression is that David Moyes may have been right when he thought that if he could only get Rooney away from the external influences and in with the group then he could get him straight. Moyes manages men in the deftest ways. When the world wanted to talk about Robin van Persie before United swung out of South Wales, he reminded us of how he had managed Rooney as a teenager. Those were well weighed words. No cloying garlands but a nod to the man United think they can restore to the "world-class" bracket.

What a far remove all that seemed from Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, whose garish public criticism of Victor Moses for returning late from international duty and transparent pitch for the lead headlines he duly won at the weekend, by claiming United have been second-rate champions, are precisely why United and Manchester City did not want him managing them. In another age and walk of life, they would have called Mourinho vulgar.

"That's his first soundbite of the season, isn't it? So we expect it," Rio Ferdinand said of Mourinho's talk, though what galled the United defender most of all was seeing his club being tipped to achieve nothing by writer after writer at the weekend. After Saturday's opener, the near unanimity that Chelsea – United's next opponents – or Manchester City are so much better may come to read like a collective amnesia about what Old Trafford actually possesses.

Ferdinand locates the premature talk of United's demise in a national desire to see them fail. "I think a lot of people expected [us to lose] – and wanted it, maybe. We've seen that from the vibe we've been getting all week. It's only one game. We're not saying we're going to win the league or anything like that [but] you don't appreciate it when people… not so much don't give you credit as don't put you in the position you should be. I think, being champions, you warrant maybe a little bit more but shouldn't expect things."

Moyes, who does not expect goalkeeper David de Gea to be impeded from playing by the bruise to the shin he took on Saturday, was more sanguine about all that. "Strangely enough, I wasn't nervous but I was apprehensive," he said after an afternoon of fan anthems which first reflected the fact that this was someone else's team – "So come on David Moyes, play like Fergie's boys" – and ended with him being taken to heart, with "David Moyes' red-and-white army". That noise was heartening, he said. "Yeah, it was; it was great. I think it does [feel strange] a little bit. I'm still settling in as well, it's still new to me. The job's still new to me."

Moyes has never gone in for the Mourinho kind of media machinations, even though he has fought with players and once squared up to greet Roberto Mancini with a Glasgow kiss. He knows defeating Swansea 4-1 is something and yet nothing because it will only take defeat to Chelsea to bring out the doomsayers. "Maybe; maybe so," he said to the notion that he might one day come to look upon this win as more significant than he did now. "I'm sort of just getting on with a day's work, really. You know, if I had lost today then would the questions have been a great deal different from you boys… No…? So there you go!"

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?