Jose Mourinho has insisted he is in no rush to bring down the curtain on Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career, after a week of rumours linking the striker with a return to his former club Everton.
Rooney turned down a lucrative offer to make a move to China last month, yet the expectation remains that he will leave United this summer and make an emotional return to his first club Everton.
Mourinho pre-empted journalists questions about Rooney’s future as he raised the issue of United’s all-time record scorer moving to Goodison Park at his latest press conference, which was conducted with real enthusiasm by the coach who won his first trophy with United in last Sunday’s EFL Cup final at Wembley.
“So shall I do the questions then…Wayne Rooney to Everton?” said Mourinho with a smile, ahead of his side’s game against Bournemouth on Saturday.
“Until the end of the season, 100 per cent he is with us. Next season, I would like him to be with us, but he is always a player who is always very important, but I cannot say (for certain he will be at United_.
“He is selected for tomorrow with possibilities to play, or to start or to be on the bench.
“So, since the moment he decided to stay and help the team and to fight for the team, he is an important player for us, and I think by giving you these two little – or big tales - I’m telling you all the talk about Everton makes no sense.”
Mourinho also offered some much-needed encouragement to out-of-favour full-back Luke Shaw, who is back in his squad and may have a role to play against Bournemouth.
“Luke is working hard, he’s trying to improve, he improved by the physical point of view I can say that by good dedication, specific work and now he needs some opportunities to feel alive,” he added.
“He needs minutes on the pitch to show evolution is not physical, but globally because a player is not just a better physical condition.”
“Luke is selected for tomorrow. He's in the list, so one step up from not being in the final (at Wembley last weekend).”