[QODLink]
Football

Mourinho calm over Rooney pursuit

Chelsea manager playing it cool over bid for United striker as Romelu Lukaku shines in three-game Asian tour.

Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 08:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Lukaku has scored four goals in Chelsea's three-game Asian tour [AFP]

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he was "calm" over his high-stakes bid for Wayne Rooney after emerging star Romelu Lukaku burnished his growing reputation with another two goals in Jakarta.

Mourinho indicated there had been no new offer for Rooney after Manchester United rejected an initial bid. But he also said Chelsea were sticking by their decision not to target any other players.

"No," said Mourinho, after Chelsea's 8-1 hammering of Indonesia All-Stars late on Thursday, when asked if there had been movement on the transfer situation.

"In this moment we have what you know... that bid that was public and official, and after that nothing else and we are calm, as we told you. We are calm because we are happy with what we have."

Returning star

The Portuguese manager has much riding on the Rooney bid with Chelsea looking at no other players after the signings of Germany forward Andre Schurrle, 22, Holland midfielder Marco van Ginkel, 20, and veteran Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, 40.

But he has also been boosted by the return from loan spells of 22-year-old Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne - currently nursing a knee injury - and powerhouse striker Lukaku, who has bagged four goals on Chelsea's three-game Asian tour.

Lukaku, who struck the winner from the penalty spot in Bangkok, and was also on target in Kuala Lumpur, added a close-range header and side-footed finish on Thursday to press his claims for regular first team football next season.

Mourinho said erratic, $77 million Spanish striker Fernando Torres should be pleased to have competition for a starting spot from the imposing Lukaku, even without Rooney in the squad.

"I think Fernando should be happy because we have competition on the team and I think it's good for everybody in every position," he said.

"So Fernando, I think he will be pleased because for some time at Chelsea he was basically the young striker, after that it was Demba Ba, arriving in January... and now we have three strikers."

He added that veteran England midfielder Frank Lampard would resume training next week after an Achilles injury as Chelsea head for four more pre-season games in the United States.

Chelsea won the English Premier League twice during Mourinho's first spell in charge and they are seen as a serious threat to title-holders Manchester United and 2012 winners Manchester City, who are both blooding new managers.

And Mourinho will hope to steal a march on United by racking up a three-point lead before they meet on August 26, after scheduling arrangements handed Chelsea two home games at the start of the season to the champions' one match, away to Swansea.

"I'm never too worried with the fixtures with the calendar, when you play, when you play at home, when you play away, when you play against a rival," Mourinho said.

"I'm not worried about it. We just start against Hull City, we will try to win and after that comes (Aston) Villa, Man United... match after match and we'll see what happens."

541

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.