As you may already know by now, Chelsea had a press conference a few hours ago, fresh off the heels of the big Rooney bid reveal yesterday. As expected, a hailstorm of queries was expected on Chelsea's now confirmed interest in the want-away United striker, and though there was a conscious effort to limit discussion on the subject, a few words did end up escaping the Happy One.
First up, doing the rounds today are some quotes by Mourinho that apparently got buried in the hullabaloo yesterday's 'Rooney or bust' talk created. It would appear there were follow up questions to the revelation about the Rooney bid, one of which resulted in the following:
[And] when asked if the Blues had made any other bids for players, the Portuguese said: "No - and we won't."
Which is further confirmation, were any needed, that for the next six weeks, Chelsea's transfer focus will revolve around one man alone.
Now, while at first glance, the 'Rooney or bust' quotes, coupled with ADL's words about Chelsea's non-interest in Cavani could've been (very optimistically) interpreted to mean the player was the only option Chelsea were considering at forward, needs in defence and midfield notwithstanding. The same quotes, now combined with the above-mentioned, would seem to suggest he's pretty much the one and only player we're going to be looking to bring over the course of the window.* Which, if you were expecting sweeping upgrades in other areas of the pitch, isn't probably very good news.
*If you're still optimistic, or if you're me, you could argue Jose might've taken the question to mean one pertaining to strikers only. Then again..
Moving on, The Happy One, as mentioned, sat for another press conference hours ago, with the key difference being that questions about Rooney were off limits. Naturally, the discussion centred on matters seemingly off-tangent but somewhat related to the current situation, and indeed, Mourinho obliged, reiterating what he'd said about Rooney a week ago:
There it is.. Mourinho repeats comment he gave to BBC earlier this wk: "Any player that is 2nd choice for their club, they are in trouble."— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) July 18, 2013
Question to Mourinho was a loose one on motivation for World Cup. Mourinho answered and steered his answer towards "second choice" players.— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) July 18, 2013
On the face of it, Mourinho's words here could be no more than an innocuous response to a fairly straightforward question. However, since the syntax matches the (mis)interpretations of the Moyes comments emerging from the Rooney camp in the last day and a half, expect this to appear in print all over, painted as an indirect attempt to further unsettle the United striker.
Still, it's just as likely Mourinho knew perfectly well what he was doing, as he's demonstrated enough times he knows exactly what to give the media on certain occasions. There's little doubt these comments are going to be played up as tabloids attempt to extract as much mileage they can from a saga that has confusion and contempt written all over it. Anyway, let's just hope this one is headed for a swift conclusion, whatever that entails for the club. Or before this descends into a charade of vitriolic remarks and gauche, exasperating mind-games. Or was this the first of those?