Jose Mourinho called Wayne Rooney 'fat boy' and twice tried to sign him for Real Madrid and Chelsea
Published 23/09/2016 | 10:38
Jose Mourinho has been intent on being Wayne Rooney’s manager for nearly six years, having chased the player he affectionately dubbed “fat boy” while managing both Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The current Manchester United boss has always had a soft spot for Rooney and had been biding his time to make a move at the right moment to sign the England captain.
Rooney’s form has been poor of late with many calling for Mourinho to drop his skipper, but after waiting so long to be able to name the 30-year-old in his team, his reluctance to do so is understandable.
According to a new book serialised in the Daily Mail, Jose Mourinho Up Close and Personal, the Portuguese tried to twice take advantage of Rooney’s contract situation to take him from United.
When Rooney angrily pulled out of contract negotiations with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in October 2010, Mourinho – who was Real Madrid manager at the time – responded, saying “if Rooney wants to leave – give me a call.”
However, Rooney made a dramatic U-turn before his future was again up in the air three years later and Mourinho was confident Rooney would be joining him at Chelsea in summer 2013.
Author and journalist Rob Beasley claims Mourinho told him the then 27-year-old was his “sole focus” and he was desperate to sign the man he jokingly dubbed “the fat boy”.
Beasley said: “I remember sitting in the lounge of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington DC having dinner with my son Joshua when Jose sauntered over.
“The next thing my 12-year-old lad knew, the Chelsea boss was pushing him along to squeeze into the chair with him.
“Jose's opening line was a corker: 'What do you think of us trying to sign the Fat Boy?'
“Josh was caught out for a second and didn't cotton on to the 'Fat Boy' joke at first. I started laughing and told him: 'He means Rooney — the Fat Boy is Rooney.'”
However Rooney’s reluctance to hand in a transfer request or publically declare his desire to leave meant the move broke down and Mourinho was made to wait another three years to finally coach the forward.
Independent News Service