Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hit back at suggestions he is playing mind games with Manchester United counterpart David Moyes for targeting Wayne Rooney.
The England international is the only remaining transfer target in the books of the Portuguese manager ahead of the new season, having secured the services of Andre Schurle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Scwharzer this summer.
It was put to Mourinho on his arrival in Jakarta, where Chelsea on Thursday play an All-Star XI that his compliments towards Moyes were a calculated act designed to destabilise the Barclays Premier League champions.
Mourinho said he had done nothing but praise the English champions’ incoming boss since returning for a second spell at Stamford Bridge.
“If to say that my colleague in Man United is a great coach, he deserves success, he deserves time to work, he didn’t win trophies at Everton because it’s difficult to win trophies there…,” Mourinho told a briefing in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
“If to speak good about him is to play mind games, what do you say if I speak bad about him?
“So the best thing is not to speak. If I don’t speak, nobody says anything.”
Mourinho heaped emphasis on the side effects late business poses to any football club and stressed that Chelsea is in a better position to start the forthcoming campaign with less stress, having done most of its transfers earlier than necessary.
“Many clubs are waiting to the last moment to make their decisions,” Mourinho said. “The problem is that those decisions affect not just one or two clubs, but a lot of them.
“The one who sells has to go and buy, then they have to buy to replace, so no club is safe.
“Until the last minute somebody can go there and steal a player. I don’t mean steal a player, but steal the balance that a manager has when he’s working with a team.
“In that aspect, we are lucky because we don’t have players to sell, so none of my players is leaving under any circumstances.
“That’s good for me, but many teams will be until the last moment under pressure, without knowing how the squad is going to be.”