Premier League: Mourinho will fight until deadline day for Rooney

Julian Harris
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CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho will persevere to the end of the transfer window to secure the signing of unsettled Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, despite watching the Blues’ attack rip through Hull City in the opening half an hour of their latest Premier League campaign.

An electric start to Mourinho’s second spell at the club saw Oscar open the scoring in the 13th minute yesterday, before Frank Lampard fired in a twisting 30 yard free-kick on 25 minutes, making amends for an earlier penalty miss.

But Chelsea’s impressive tempo faded during a goalless second half, after which Mourinho refused to rule out further bids for Rooney. The England forward came off the bench for United during Saturday’s 4-1 win at Swansea, playing just half an hour, and stayed notably apart from his team-mates’ goal celebrations.

“We will try until the last day to add a new player to the squad – a striker,” Mourinho said, when asked about Rooney. “I don’t think it’s ethical that I name players that belong to other clubs, [but] you know which players we can sniff this situation with. We go direct to the club in a correct manner and we are going to try that until the last day of the transfer window.”

The Chelsea manager’s return to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid this summer has coincided with owner Roman Abramovich’s 10-year anniversary since taking over the club, an event celebrated at yesterday’s match. “[From my years at Chelsea] this was the first time we’ve had in the dressing room before the match Mr Abramovich with us,” Mourinho said. “To have him coming from his holiday to be with the team in that moment meant a lot to all of us. We are together, we know where we want to go.”

His side came bursting out of the traps, and just five minutes in had a penalty after Allan McGregor stuck an arm across Fernando Torres in the box. Yet the Scotland international made amends by diving to his right to palm Lampard’s subsequent penalty away.

The attacking onslaught continued, however, and when Kevin De Bruyne slipped a through-ball to Oscar, the Brazilian slid home from close range.

And before the half-hour mark Lampard’s fizzing free-kick from distance gave Chelsea the cushion to see out a comfortable home win.