Rooney’s ours, United boss tells Mourinho
Rooney’s ours, United boss tells Mourinho
Moyes was careful not to be dragged into a row with Mourinho but he showed signs of impatience as he underlined his position that Rooney, who flew home with a hamstring injury just hours after arriving in Bangkok, would not be sold.
“Unless I was speaking Double Dutch, I think we’ve said Wayne Rooney is not for sale,” Moyes told a packed press conference in the Thai capital, where he will make his debut as manager today.
He added: “It’s hard to keep repeating myself but I will do — Wayne’s a Manchester United player and will remain that.”
Moyes, Rooney’s former boss at Everton, said the England striker would be out for two to three weeks but will be fit for the start of the season on August 17.
“It’s a blow that we’ve lost him because he’s been training well and looked very good,” said Moyes.
“But unfortunately he just felt something in his hamstring, we double-checked it and he has a slight grade one injury there that’ll probably keep him out for two to three weeks... I don’t foresee any problem with Wayne starting the season.”
Rooney’s sudden departure did not ease speculation about his future which has been swirling since former United manager Alex Ferguson said the striker had asked for a transfer.
The 27-year-old has denied asking to leave the club but he has not confirmed his intentions either. Britain’s Daily Mail has reported that Chelsea are preparing a 60-million-pound ($90-million) bid.
Mourinho, who also arrived in Bangkok with Chelsea on Friday, was warm in his praise for Rooney and is also looking for a striker, but he stopped short of saying he wanted to sign the Liverpudlian.
“It’s a funny, tricky question because from the ethical point of view, I cannot speak about players from other teams,” Mourinho said.
“But again you know me and you know it’s not my kind of character to speak with a little bit of hypocrisy. I always say what I feel, what I think.
“I’ve always said he’s a player that I like very, very much but I cannot say more than that. Being fast and direct, I like him very much but he’s a Man United player.”
Mourinho may be mindful of a notorious “tapping-up” incident in 2005 when Chelsea were hit with heavy fines for holding a meeting with Ashley Cole, then at Arsenal. But Moyes, when asked about Mourinho’s comments, refused to rise to the bait.
“I think Jose said in his comments that he doesn’t normally talk about players from other clubs either. (But) it does happen,” he said, when asked if Mourinho was being disrespectful.
He added: “I think I’ve covered all the things on Wayne. What I’ve given you is about his injury. But what you mustn’t forget is Manchester United is about a team and about a football club and not about any one individual.
“In lots of ways, I’m only interested about the team.”
Both clubs are entering new eras under Moyes and Mourinho, who are coincidentally making their bow within days of each other in Bangkok and could be vying for the Premier League title by the end of next season.
While Mourinho is returning for his second stint as Chelsea manager, Moyes he had been “lifted” by the sheer professionalism and commitment of his squad — and taken aback at their welcome by Thai fans.
“We arrived at the airport and I heard lots of screaming young ladies. I don’t think it was at me,” he said. “It was like some famous pop group arriving, it was an incredible welcome.”
Manchester United play Singha All-Stars today — their first game since Alex Ferguson’s 27-year reign — while Mourinho’s Chelsea are in action next Wednesday.
Rooney said on Facebook that he was “gutted” to be missing United’s tour, which also goes to Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Sweden.
Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards
- Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
- Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award
LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.