'You have to ask him' - Jose Mourinho refuses to end Wayne Rooney-to-China talk
Jose Mourinho has admitted he cannot guarantee Wayne Rooney wants to stay at Manchester United and refused to kill off rumours that his captain is tempted to move to China this month.
Mourinho was exasperated by the number of questions about a player who, as he pointed out, has been injured and did not travel to France.
Yet, tellingly, he also deliberately resisted several opportunities to say the player would not be allowed to leave this week, with the transfer window in China open for another seven days.
Instead, Mourinho said that he did not want his captain to leave and that he is not trying to force him out, but added that he does not know whether Rooney is unhappy and that only the player knows if he is going to try to leave for a lucrative contract in the Chinese Super League.
"You have to ask him,” said Mourinho if he could end the speculation surrounding the England captain that he could leave this week. “Of course, I can’t guarantee [he stays].
“I cannot guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?
"What I can guarantee is that if one day Wayne leaves the club, it is not because I want him to leave the club. I would never push a legend of this club to another destiny."
“You have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or sees himself moving.
“It is not a question for me because I am happy to have him. You have to ask him, not me. I was very open with you in the answer. I don’t want him to leave.”
Asked why Rooney had not travelled to France, even though he had trained with the rest of the squad in Manchester, Mourinho replied: “I don’t know it was the first time he trained and didn’t even train 100% with the group.
“You saw 15 mins open to the press and yes he was doing the warm-up and basic things after that but then when the training session was high in intensity he was not training. He has no chance for tomorrow. He’s not here, he stayed back training. Let’s see for the weekend
“He’s injured, I cannot do miracles at that level. We have a great improvement in the past year in relation to the medical department, but he is injured for two or three weeks.
“When you don’t have a player, you have others, they are working hard. The team is in a good moment. In the past four months, we have lost one game and it was a game we could afford to lose as it was a two -legged semi-final. The team is in a good moment and Wayne Rooney is injured."