Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United could sell England striker Wayne Rooney this summer.

Wayne Rooney: Mourinho wanted him leading the lone this year

Chelsea boss Mourinho suspects Rooney could be heading abroad if United cannot persuade him to commit to new terms.

However, Jose Mourinho says he has called a halt to Chelsea’spursuit of Wayne Rooney, claiming that Manchester United were adamant the England striker would not be sold to a domestic rival. Rooney is likely to miss Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge with a continuation of his groin injury, and his manager David Moyes also said yesterday that he was not for sale.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match between his team and United, Mourinho told national newspapers: “Man United made it clear in the summer they don’t swap or sell players to their direct rivals.

“They were clear in the way they approached the Rooney situation. For them, it’s pretty clear. They don’t swap. They don’t sell.

“I think maybe this summer they will try to sell to a non-direct rival. But they were very clear.”

Speaking in the English daily Evening Standard, the Portuguese had said: “My feeling, which is based on years of communicating with Sir Alex and some inside information, is Man United are not happy.”

But ahead of his side’s clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Moyes stated the Blues have apologised.

“I’ve seen it and had an apology from him and his department,” Moyes said.

Rooney is approaching the 10th anniversary of his move to United. He joined from Everton in August 2004 and is the fourth highest goalscorer in United’s history.

Rooney, who is in the last 17 months of his contract, was courted heavily by Chelsea last summer, with bids of £23m and £25m knocked back in July and August. United subsequently made it known they would not countenance his sale to them at any price, whatever the potential risks of retaining an unhappy player at the club. Even so, Mourinho had still hoped to secure the England striker this summer when he revamps his forward ranks, although there is an acceptance now that he may have to look elsewhere for reinforcements.

The Portuguese will be spared a direct confrontation with the 28-year-old forward he had hoped would be his when Chelsea host United on Sunday with Rooney, who has been suffering from a groin injury, having trained alone since returning from a warm-weather break in Egypt.

While European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, who have expressed an interest in the striker in the past, might be considered United’s direct rivals in continental competition, Mourinho subsequently clarified that he had meant they would not sell to “domestic” suitors.

Only Time will tell whether Jose Mourinho is right about Wayne Rooney sale: Moyes

However, United boss David Moyes has made light of Jose Mourinho’s claim that Manchester United could sell Wayne Rooney this summer.

He said: “Everybody has their style. I wouldn’t talk about other managers at other clubs and I wouldn’t talk about other players at other clubs.

“I can’t tell you what his motivation is but only time will give you an answer about Wayne. The club will deal with that – they will do all they need to do, no question.”