Manchester United have taken the bold decision to keep an unhappy Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford this season after a high-level meeting, reports the Guardian.
Rooney has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, and according to the paper, a decision has been taken at the highest level within Old Trafford that they should not sell to Chelsea at any price, due to the perception of a power shift that would be caused.
United are of the view that selling Rooney to Chelsea would represent a lowering of the club's status and are prepared to hold on to the player despite his wishes to move to the Stamford Bridge.
The latest report should come as a rude shock to Jose Mourinho, who was of the view that United would eventually let Rooney join him at Chelsea.
United has so far rejected two bids for the English international - £23m and £25m - from Chelsea and are not willing to listen to any offers for their striker any more.
The view within the club is that selling Rooney to a direct Premier League rival would strengthen Chelsea immensely and would most likely represent United handing over the title to the Stamford Bridge outfit even before kicking a ball in the new season.
Thus the club has taken the decision to keep Rooney at the club even if he hands in a transfer request late on in order to force through a move to Chelsea.
The report claims that United will sit down with the forward after he returns from international duty with England and inform him that he is still valued at the club and should focus on performing as best as he can in a World Cup year rather than sulking at United for not giving in to his demands.
It also claims that the club would urge their followers in the next couple of weeks to recognise the contribution Rooney has made to the club during the last nine years and not let their displeasure known when he eventually turns out for the club.
Meanwhile, Mourinho has started looking at alternatives for Rooney and is zeroing in on Anzhi Makhachkala's Samuel Eto'o in case they ultimately fail in their attempts to land the English star.
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