Julian, aka: The Application, thought it would be a great idea to get together and combine our oft disagreeing brains to look at Chelsea target Wayne Rooney. Let’s see how our thoughts compare on the interesting topic of Manchester United selling one of its biggest names to major rival Chelsea…
What is a fair price for Wayne Rooney?
Julian: Wayne Rooney is currently valued around £43m. I think the highest I’d be willing to go is somewhere around £32.5m but I’d be much happier with £25m. Unfortunately I know Manchester United won’t want to sell at that price but his market value is undercut by his £250k/week wages making him a tough sell. If Rooney was willing to take a pay cut then I could justify a higher transfer value.
Bret: Sales between English clubs always ramp up the price and the movement of English players between English clubs in the Premiership can add even more. I don’t see there being any chance of Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United to another English club of any status for less than £40m and I think that if it happens it’ll be closer to £60m. Considering market history and the fact that Rooney is a shirt seller and England icon he’s going to make that value back in merchandise within a few months which would justify the seemingly lofty price tag.
Is Rooney a good fit?
Julian: Mourinho has come out and said that he wants to use the 4-2-3-1 formation but I don’t think it’s the ideal formation for Rooney. I’ve always felt that Rooney was best when he dropped into the midfield and created for his striker. We have 4 or 5 players with the capability of doing that already. If he’s played as a 9 then I’m not sure he’s too much of an improvement to Lukaku or Torres given his recent poor form and lack of confidence. If Mourinho does switch to a two striker formation then Rooney makes absolutely perfect sense.
Bret: On his day, Rooney is in everyone’s top five list of world class strikers. He has those days more often than not as well. If Jose wants him, he has a role in mind and that can only be leading the line. He lacks height, but is strong and tenacious and he puts a full shift in, game in game out. That makes him a Jose player by default. He also has the versatility to hang around the six yard box, play target man and be a deep lying play maker which gives Mourinho a lot of options in one striker that you can’t say about Lukaku or Ba. Rooney has 11 years of premiership football under his belt and also has at least another 6 years at the top flight in him which adds proven Premiership quality, experience longevity to account for his cost. Good fit? Near perfect fit.
Is Chelsea’s interest genuine?
Julian: Having known Mourinho for this long I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be mind games to unnerve Moyes and Rooney. On the one hand, Mourinho knows that Manchester United have had troubles with Rooney before and rocking the boat isn’t going to help a team in transition. On the other hand, Mourinho has long admired Rooney. During his first spell at Chelsea there was a seemingly genuine like for what Rooney offered. For now I think that it’s just another mind game but that could change if Chelsea come back with a higher bid.
Bret: I think it is, yes. Jose Mourinho has a knack for mind games and all of them seem to draw a conclusion that it is in Man Utd and Rooney’s best interest to leave. A written offer is testament to that, and even if it was summarily rejected I firmly believe there is more to come from Abramovich’s long arms and short pockets. If you’re willing to pay £50m for Torres, you have to be willing to put up as much for Rooney.
Would Chelsea supporters embrace Rooney?
Julian: I think that the general opinion on Rooney has changes as Chelsea have ramped up their pursuit. From what I read and saw from Chelsea supporters, the ideal of Rooney was initially out of the question completely. Now there seems to be a more accepting nature under the right circumstances. I think a lot of Chelsea supporters would come around if he was helping Chelsea win, but there will always be a few supporters unwilling to accept him.
Bret: It’s going to be 50/50 to start with. Chelsea fans, especially younger ones, have long been accustomed to disliking anyone in a red shirt. The three exceptions I know off of the top of my head are Ray Wilkins and Mickey Thomas who played for us before joining Man Utd, and Mark Hughes, who was a Red for about a century before coming to the Bridge and is a well known life long Chelsea fan. If he hits the ground running and knocks in 15 by Christmas the fans will take to him like a duck to water. If he pulls a Torres he’s in for a damned long hard slog. On top of that he’s a Liverpudlian and we already have one northerner in the squad.
Is this deal going to happen?
Julian: I doubt it. I’d say he’s most likely going to stay at Manchester United. They made it clear that they don’t want to sell Rooney and he’s contracted until 2015. Mourinho put himself in a win-win situation because he’s already caused a media circus around Rooney and he could potentially end up taking one of their best players. I think the rumors will get worse before they get better.
Bret: No, not unless Abramovic is going to go deep into his bank account to the tune of £50 – £60 million, and the Torres saga may well have put him off making another gamble like that. We’ll have to wait and see if Jose can talk our Russian sugar daddy into believing it’s a worthwhile cause.
Who is your top alternative?
Julian: I want Chelsea to stay as far away from Gonzalo Higuain as possible. He’s a very average player and his relationship with Mourinho was often rocky. If we’re really in desperate need of an experienced striker then I have to go with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His wages are outrageous but his transfer fee would be cheap, he had a fantastic relationship with Mourinho and he doesn’t want to share the spotlight with Cavani. I’d honestly prefer to work with what we have though.
Bret: No one. I agree with Jose when it’s Rooney or bust. No one else has the Premiership experience to justify a massive price tag and going by the pre-season opener it looks like we’re playing one up top then we already have four forwards in the squad, three of which I think can do the job (Torres, Lukaku and Schurrle at a push) and we only really need three.
So there you have it. I don’t think Julian and I are that far apart on this one, but the real question is this: What do you think? Let us know!
Have a question for us or topic to opine on? Give us a shout here or on Twitter! @CFCRockies, @DeadBeatBert, @JulianBravo23