Jose Mourinho: Dropping Wayne Rooney has been hard but I will never sell Man United striker
Jose Mourinho insists he will never sell Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, claiming: "I will never make that decision".
Rooney - who is a major doubt for today's game with Chelsea after not travelling with the squad - has an Old Trafford contract that will take him to the summer of 2019 after signing an extension during David Moyes' short tenure.
But having been on the bench for the last three Premier League games after a slump in form, speculation is growing over his future at the club amid some reports that there is interest from China.
Mourinho, speaking to Sky Sports ahead of today's game at Stamford Bridge, says Rooney deserves to make his own decisions.
"I will never make that decision. A player of his stature, a player of his history in the club will never go to point where club or manager want to make that decision for him," Mourinho said.
"I put him [Rooney] on the bench for three matches in a row. That is hard for him, hard for me, so that is being ruthless, to put in my mind the interests of the team in front of the player, prestige, status. In this case even legend. To put on bench a player with the numbers he has for club and country is hard.
"But as we were saying before, this is an industry where the people who leads, sometimes in a correct decision, sometimes not correct decisions, but in our mind the decisions we think is the best for the team."
Rooney is a major doubt for this afternoon's Chelsea vs Manchester United clash after reportedly tweaking a muscle in training.
The United and England captain, who played during the Europa League win against Fenerbahce on Thursday night, was not with his team-mates as they boarded the train to London from Stockport station yesterday.