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Mourinho: Wayne Rooney 'a player that I like very much'

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Laurence Griffiths

I've been woefully neglectful of the Wayne Rooney chat recently, mostly because I was travelling when most of the rumours were flying around. But when Jose Mourinho addresses the Manchester United forward directly... well, it's hard to ignore. Here's what the manager had to say when he was asked about Rooney, who's just been sent home from United's Asia tour after sustaining a hamstring problem:

It's a funny, tricky question from an ethical point of view as I can't talk about players from other teams. But it is not my character to speak with hypocrisy, I always tell what I see – he's a player that I like very much. Being fast and direct I like him very much, but he's a Manchester United player.

Source: Guardian.

This is probably going to be played up as more than it should be (don't be surprised to see 'Mourinho wants Roo' headlines floating around soon), but there's definitely a story here. Whether that's Mourinho being cheeky and trying to annoy the United hierarchy* or if there's genuine interest from the club, I don't really know. But it would hardly be beyond Chelsea to make an enormously cheeky bid for a big name to make a splash, would it?

*Who seem to want to keep Rooney around, for some reason.