1. 3rd bid for Rooney being plotted:
José Mourinho is refusing to relent in his pursuit of Wayne Rooney. The Chelsea manager has already had two bids – the latest believed to be in the region of £25m – rejected by Manchester United for the unsettled forward, with David Moyes stressing the 27-year-old will not be sold.
But, with Rooney understood to be angry with Moyes’s stance and ready to leave the Premier League champions, Mourinho knows there is enough discontent to keep alive his hope of bringing the England forward to Stamford Bridge.
Rooney’s advisers are fully aware of the Portuguese’s intentions and if, as expected, the striker hands in a transfer request within the next week, that will encourage a third Chelsea bid to test United’s resolve further.
Mourinho, who suffered his first pre-season defeat on Wednesday when Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to win the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup, will not give up without a fight.
Images of Rooney training with United’s reserves on Thursday would have been duly noted at Chelsea’s Washington DC base.
“We are far away so we are not in England to know every detail but we are doing things in the correct way,” Mourinho said after the Real match. “We made the bid and Manchester United have reacted. Let’s see what happens. But we can’t do more than we are doing now.
“We are doing things legally, making the official bid directly to the club, no interviews or comments or direct relations with the player, no contact, absolutely nothing. We are doing everything in an ethical way, so let’s see if things change.
“There is no time limit. We have our squad of strikers. We have identified the player as one we would like to have with us. We have done it in an ethical way and we are going to do that until the last day. And we will see how it comes.”
2. David Luiz to quit Chelsea for Barca?:
Barcelona expect David Luiz to tell Chelsea on Monday that he wants to join the Spanish champions.
Barca had an opening bid for the Brazilian rejected on Wednesday with Mourinho warning them not to return with another bid.
However, Barcelona are convinced Mourinho is merely driving up the price and hope Luiz’s desire to join them can help sway negotiations.
Liverpool’s Daniel Agger remains their back-up plan, but has just been announced as the new vice-captain at Anfield, replacing Jamie Carragher.
This week, Mourinho told Barca boss Tata Martino in no uncertain terms to turn his attentions elsewhere.
‘The bid? It’s lost time for them,’ said Mourinho.
‘My advice to them is to go to the second player on their list because they are wasting their time. We don’t want to lose our best players. No chance.’
3. Mata, Lampard and Luiz might not be fit enough for season start:
José Mourinho is facing the uncomfortable and potentially damaging prospect of going into the new Premier League season without Frank Lampard and David Luiz, while Juan Mata is also an injury concern.
The Chelsea trio have played limited roles because of injury and a lack of match fitness during the club’s four-match tour of the United States that comes to a conclusion here against Roma on Sunday.
With the season opener against Hull a week away, losing such key players for the start of the campaign is a problem the Portuguese can do without.
Lampard, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury that has restricted him to 45 minutes against Real Madrid in pre-season, is the Chelsea manager’s biggest concern. While the initial injury is showing signs of recovery, the 35 year-old’s lack of match fitness is holding him back.
Mourinho concedes the midfielder is not ready for the resumption of the Premier League and will carefully assess him against the Italian side before return to London.
Surprisingly, considering his total lack of match-time this summer, the England manager, Roy Hodgson, has included Lampard in the squad to face Scotland next week – a decision Mourinho is comfortable with. There could well be a different reaction from the manager if his injury is worsened by playing at Wembley and, asked if he believed the midfielder was ready for the start of the season, Mourinho said: “No, he still has to train. He has to play against Roma. He played 45 mins against Real, maybe he plays 60 against Roma. He is in the England squad so it will be good if he plays a part against Scotland.
“He is getting ready. But his pre-season has seen him train for a week and then stop for two weeks. He is coming back again, we are calm. We have to be calm. We know the stages of recovery. His first minutes of pre-season have been against Real Madrid.”
The situations with David Luiz and Mata are equally precarious for Mourinho. The Brazilian has struggled with a hamstring strain problem since the end of last season and, like Lampard, has played only intermittently in the US.
David Luiz came on for 30 minutes in Indianapolis last Thursday against Internazionale and has not been seen on the pitch since. The way Mourinho defiantly and instantly rejected a £35m bid from Barcelona for the 25-year-old proved just how integral a player he will be this season.
Likewise with Mata who, like David Luiz, missed Chelsea’s tour to Asia because of his involvement in Spain’s Confederations Cup campaign. They stayed behind at the club’s DC base instead of travelling to Miami to take on Real Madrid on Wednesday. “They are important players,” said Mourinho. “The team with David Luiz and Mata is a better team. But again this is not a problem, we don’t risk players in pre season.
“Mata had a little thing, we didn’t take a risk. David had an injury from before the Europa League final and he still has little things with it, so we stop.
“If David misses the start of the season then its only because of his injury. That’s why I’m not risking him. He had a good session in DC with the fitness guys while we were in Miami. So, hopefully, there will be no problems.”
4. Computer simulator has Chelsea winning the PL:
A new computer simulator has predicted that Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea will see the London club crowned Premier League champions at the end of the season.
The calculations of the simulator also predict that Tottenham, with or without Gareth Bale, will struggle once again to reach the Champions League, with local rivals Arsenal pipping them to fourth place once again.
The findings have been presented by American company Bloomberg Sports’ new ‘uniquely data-driven’ simulation systems, which have been formulated by playing out the coming campaign 10,000 times before averaging the results.
Chelsea’s new arrivals Marco van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle and Mark Schwarzer were viewed by the simulator to have boosted the club’s strength significantly enough to see them rise above the two Manchester clubs – in contrast to last season’s table.
Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City are predicted to finish as runners-up, just above rivals United, while the three promoted clubs – Cardiff, Hull and Crystal Palace – are tipped to suffer an instant return to the Championship.
Gareth Bale has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this summer, and the new data predicts his departure could make Tottenham’s top-four plans even harder to attain. Spurs have a 34 per cent chance of ousting one of the clubs above them – however, that figure drops to just 20.4 per cent if Bale leaves White Hart Lane for Madrid.
The Bloomberg Sports simulation is based on an initial assessment of the relative merits of each club, drawn from past performances and, crucially, the adjusted ‘value’ of individual players which has seen Chelsea come out as the top flight’s top club.