Well, that escalated quickly, didn't it?
Wednesday was Wayne Rooney day in English football. What started innocently enough as Jose confirming that he liked the player - not really a shocking development considering the past; then again, does Jose ever do anything innocently? - blew up with United leaking bogus inanities about Chelsea bidding cash + Juan Mata and/or David Luiz, to which then Chelsea, in a rather unprecedented step, responded publicly, confirming the cash bid but putting a swift end to any rumors of a player exchange. It's "Rooney or bust" now, according to Mourinho - but perhaps bust is just the nickname he used for Gonzalo Higuain while at Real Madrid.
As debates over 'Wazza' raged in the comments, I took an Internet detour to see what the other side was thinking. One common theme that emerged was the absolute insanity of Manchester United rejecting an offer of Juan Mata and cash for Wayne Rooney. Never mind that submitting any bid even remotely along these lines should see our entire front office institutionalized post haste; most couldn't even begin to process the idea of rejecting such a bid. But apparently that's what United were selling and the media were buying, with both hands.
It's at this point that you should go read Callum Hamilton's post over at The Busby Babe on United and Chelsea's press war - but do keep in mind that if you troll there, you will get banned here.
Firstly, it's a certainty that the initial reports were briefed by United. It was obvious to begin with, and all but confirmed with Chelsea directing their anger towards Old Trafford rather than Fleet Street. That means that it's either 100% true, or that United have some ulterior motive in completely inventing a rumour linking them to Luiz and Mata.
-Source: The Busby Babe
Spoiler alert: Callum thinks that this actually just about rules out Chelsea from signing Rooney, as that would leave United in an absolutely untenable position, both in terms of media and fan relations.
Along similar lines, a blog called United Rant puts the latest Rooney developments into context with the rest of United's transfer stories this summer. And he's not happy.
Indeed, such is the public relations fall-out from the club’s latest gaffe – disingenuously briefing travelling media that Chelsea had offered Juan Mata and cash for the England striker’s signature – that the Reds’ reputation is now at stake.
At risk of descending to Kenyonesque levels of asinine farce, United has served too often to embarrass onlooking fans this summer. Worse still – and at risk of drawing significant ire – United’s maladroit transfer market tactics have drawn comparison with the very worst that Manchester City’s Garry Cook, now departed, had to offer.
-Source: United Rant
Ah yes, we too are quite familiar with Peter Kenyon.
I'm not sure I've ever read United Rant before, but I really did enjoy this article - minus the couple slight underhands towards Chelsea. It's very well written and thought out, with points that seem salient even from my decidedly non-neutral perspective. Read it, and as before, do behave yourself.
So where does this leave us? I'm not sure anybody knows at this point. With Sir Alex Ferguson gone, I don't think United will be able to placate Rooney and he's good as gone. Will Mourinho get his man? Having publicly admitted interest, he would almost have to just to show that he's still the bossest of bosses. Can you imagine Jose having to eat humble pie as Rooney lines up for Arsenal? Yeah, I can't really either.
Considering his inconsistent form, his wages, and all this drama, is Rooney even worth the effort or ink or time or electrons? I doubt it. Unfortunately, this will probably drag out for the foreseeable future. And for what?
Like the idea of "the battle for Wayne Rooney". Three months of futile and doomed infantry charges all over a tactically negligible hillock— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) July 17, 2013