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What’s the Mata with…Chelsea’s Wayne Rooney part exchange deal?

| 17.07.2013

Wayne Rooney is now 8/11 to be a Chelsea player when the summer transfer window closes after the Blues reportedly submitted a sensational offer for the unsettled striker’s services, worth £10m plus either Juan Mata or David Luiz, but – successful or not – such an offer is going to do more harm than good at the Bridge.

Ever since the departure of monolithic battering ram Didier Drogba, Chelsea have been stuck in the void left by the Ivorian, with the once superb Fernando Torres struggling to emulate the man he was bought to replace.

Perhaps the search for a similar talisman has led them to Rooney, who is undoubtedly at the ideal juncture of his career to move on.

Having given Manchester United nine years of loyal, productive service he has been openly slighted by the club’s hierarchy – David Moyes describing his role as essentially backup to Robin Van Persie – he could reinvigorated by a move and he’s drifted to evens to be at Old Trafford in September.

Chelsea seem absurdly keen to go about the same ungrateful undermining act with Mata, who in being suggested as a make-weight for Rooney has been painted as surplus to requirements at his club for the second time this summer after The Daily Star suggested that Jose Mourinho had asked Roman Abramovich to put him up for sale last month.

Mata has been a dream signing in his two seasons at Stamford Bridge, earning the club’s player of the year mantle on both occasions and was arguably more influential than Rooney on his club’s fortunes in 2012/13.

In an occasionally tumultuous campaign last term he supplied 20 goals and 28 assists to the cause across all competitions and his partnership with Eden Hazard – the man he pipped to the top of the Premier League assist charts – looks to be the Premier League’s most ingeniously creative midfield axis.

That Luiz is the other Chelsea player supposedly touted for the part-exchange deal highlights just how perverse such a move would be, after a massively improved season in which the be-afroed Brazilian became a fan favourite and was touted as future captain material.

With United having publicly insisted that they would not sell Rooney to a Premier League rival, The Daily Mail’s suggestion that Mata or Luiz have been offered up to one of the club’s main title rivals seems even more bizarre.

If it hadn’t for the alleged past extra-judicial actions of Abramovich – the signings of Andriy Schevchenko or Torres for instance – this would seem like greedy agent gossip or newspaper skulduggery of the highest order, but with the oligarch’s plaything who can be sure?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds