• Premier League

Mourinho still refusing to rule out Rooney move

ESPN staff
July 16, 2013

Jose Mourinho has once again refused to rule out bringing Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea coach described Rooney as "a player I like" last week, shortly after the England forward was forced to leave his side's pre-season tour with a hamstring injury and igniting rumours that he was on his way out of Old Trafford.

When again questioned about Rooney, Mourinho said: "This is a period when the big clubs and their managers are connected with everything.

"Until August 31, that's the oldest story in football, rumours and rumours. At the end, something comes true."

Mourinho also claimed that he will bring more players in, despite being satisfied with the squad he already has.

"At this moment I am so happy with the people I have that I'm not thinking of other players. And if I have to think of others I think of those on holiday who join us on July 28.

"The first part of my job is to get the best from these players and push the young boys to the levels they can reach.

"By August 31 you will see somebody come in to improve our squad but my focus is to work with these guys. After a week I am still the happy one because my boys have been fantastic."

Mourinho also revealed that Romelu Lukaku will start the pre-season friendly with Singha All-Star XI - the team that inflicted defeat on Manchester United in David Moyes' first game in charge.

"I sent my assistant to see that match live and the team is good. They have good players, not only Thai players," Mourinho said.

"They play a tactical system that's not easy to play against. They didn't play with all their best players. They have a New Zealand striker who is the top scorer who did not play against them. And they are not tired like us because they are at a different point in their season.

"To lose is not a drama, it doesn't change anything but it's not nice. We don't like to lose. Winning is part of the culture and if you can do that even in friendlies we have to do it.

"I will play two teams and give every player 45 minutes. I am only asking them to work hard for 45 minutes and they have to give a good performance. The pitch is very far from being good and that is not good for the show, the spectacle."

Mourinho also praised his players for their efforts in training in Bangkok.

"One week for us means 14 training sessions, 21 hours of hard-work, high intensity work," he said. "At this moment the players are tired but we don't worry.

"It's normal to have this reaction in their body at the end of the first week but one more week and they will start to recover and feel more comfortable.

"This is a difficult moment but nobody wants to stop and rest and we are working very hard. The players are showing that they want and in my experience this is the most important thing. If they want they can."

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