Chelsea have strenuously denied the suggestion that they offered Juan Mata or David Luiz as makeweights in the deal to sign Wayne Rooney – although the club have confirmed that they made an offer for the Manchester United player yesterday.
The London club are furious at what they believe is a United briefing designed to undermine their relationship with their own players and released a statement an hour before their game in Bangkok today to deny that Mata or Luiz were offered as part of the deal - reported to be also worth an extra £10m to United.
Chelsea said in a statement: "Chelsea can confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney. Although the terms of the offer are confidential, for the avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to press in Sydney, the proposed purchase price does not include the transfer or loan of any player from Chelsea to Manchester United."
It is understood the bid was rejected out of hand by the Premier League champions.
The Independent have been reporting that Chelsea have made Rooney their top target this summer, but this is the first time that their interest has been backed up by an actual approach for the player.
Intriguingly, it comes less than 24-hours after sources close to the Manchester United striker told the media that Rooney was "angry and confused" over comments made by David Moyes. The new Manchester United manager appeared to suggest Rooney is below Robin van Persie in the pecking order at Old Trafford.
United have consistently stated that Rooney is not for sale and will remain a Manchester United player.
Chelsea manager Mourinho has been vocal in his interest in Rooney - expressing his admiration for the player and yesterday issuing the deeply provocative observation from Bangkok, where Chelsea are on tour, that “if Wayne is a second choice for Man United, then the national team will be affected”.
The Rooney source said that the player considered himself to be “at the peak of his career” and had “no intention of letting that career go backwards” as a squad player or second-choice player. “He doesn’t believe he has anything to prove as a player after nine successful years at Old Trafford. Yet that is what seems to have been suggested by media reports which interpret the club… as meaning he is on trial for the season.”
Chelsea confirm bid for Rooney - but deny offering Mata or Luiz
The Independent | Jul 17