Jose Mourinho has given Wayne Rooney 48 hours to make a public declaration that he wants to quit Manchester United for Chelsea.
In a stunning move following the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, the Chelsea manager told the player ‘who started the story’ that ‘he now has to finish it’.
Chelsea have tabled two bids for the England striker and will make a third if Rooney publicly asks to leave. United fans sang Rooney’s name throughout the game and Mourinho claims he is unlikely to make another move.
The Chelsea manager told Match of the Day: 'We didn't start the story. Somebody start the story by saying clearly I want to go to Chelsea, I don't want to stay at Manchester United.
'We are not crazy to find good players who say they are happy at their clubs but I think he has to say I want to leave or he has to say I want to stay.'
Mourinho later elaborated: ‘The person who started the story has to finish the story. I want him to say if he wants to stay or go. A club like us, a manager like me and the people who work with me are not silly.
‘We have 24-48 hours to close it or we move on. We are trying to get a player from a big club and they don’t want to sell. We wouldn’t try to get someone if he didn’t start it. It’s time to make a decision. He was a real professional he tried to win, score, he was fantastic.
‘After that if he wants to leave he has to say. If he doesn’t want to leave any more we respect it and we say thank you and we move on.
Support: Rooney was cheered by both sets of fans during the match
‘He played a fantastic match in difficult circumstances. He told someone close to him that is very important that he wanted to leave.
‘Many players in this situation, they can’t express themselves in the pitch. He did, he was fantastic.’
Mourinho will sign Samuel Eto’o from Anzhi Makhachkala on the cheap if they fail to sign Rooney. That was looking more likely last night after Rooney’s performance in a United shirt at Old Trafford.
Moyes believes Rooney has already committed his future to United and warned Mourinho against making an illegal approach if he talks to the forward.
The United chief said: ‘It would be illegal, he can’t do that.
Please don't go: Manchester United fans show a banner pleading Rooney to stay
‘I was very pleased with his performance and the reaction from the crowd. It wasn’t unexpected. I have to say he has been great in training, the way he has trained and he is slightly leaner looking.
‘My thought is that I was going to pay him for 60-70 minutes, but he chased back and tackled. I think Wayne has a positive mind, it doesn’t need to change. I think at the moment his performance said enough, he closed two or three people down in the corner and the crowd realised the work he did.
He was desperate to score, he nearly scored with an overhead kick.’
Chelsea were happy to settle for a point after Mourinho opted to leave Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku on the bench.
Interest: Chelsea look set to sign Eto'o if the Rooney move does not come off
Mourinho said: ‘We wanted to win the game, but in the final 10 minutes we settled for a point. We came with babies and they were playing at the home of the champions.’
Moyes added: ‘This is a fair point. Nobody deserves to lose and nobody was better. For us the champions in the first home game was satisfying. We did create chances.
‘It was a tight game, we didn’t have the final pass. There are no rules to coaching, you have try to get the best results we can. We gave it a go.’