Football News

Mourinho: Rooney is a player I like

Created on Jul. 12, 2013 11:26 AM EST

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admires Wayne Rooney's talent but refused to comment on speculation linking the striker with Stamford Bridge.

Alex Ferguson confirmed that the player had handed in a transfer request at the end of last season, with the striker reportedly frustrated at being left out of key fixtures such as the UEFA Champions League second-leg round of 16 fixture against Real Madrid.

David Moyes, Ferguson's replacement, has since underlined his position on the matter in declaring that Rooney would be staying at Old Trafford.

But the England international has been linked with several clubs through the close-season, with Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Chelsea all reportedly interested.

Mourinho, however, remained tight-lipped when question on a potential move for the 27-year-old.

"It's a tricky question because I cannot speak about players from other teams," Mourinho said during Chelsea's pre-season tour of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

"But you know me, it's not my kind of character to speak with a bit of hypocrisy and I always say what I think.

"He is a player I like very much but I can say no more than that. Being fast and direct, I like that, but he's a Manchester United player."

The Portuguese left Chelsea in 2007 but returned to the club in June after leaving La Liga side Real Madrid.

And the 50-year-old believes that he has improved as a manager during his spell away from England.

"I think I am better now, because my job is the kind of job where experience means a lot," he continued.

"After Chelsea I went around Europe and had two years in Italy, three years in Spain, so I have more football culture than I did before.

"So, I think I am in better condition than before. Some more white hairs, in my case, is a good sign, because it shows I learn more.

"Until the first defeat comes, I am happy. But it is up to my team to help me, support me and try to get good results for the club." 

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