Press Association Ahead of Mourinho’s first match of his second spell in charge in Bangkok, Chelsea issued a statement, which read: “Chelsea Football Club can today confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney. “Although the terms of that offer are confidential, for the avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to the press in Sydney, the proposed purchase does not include the transfer or loan of any players from Chelsea to Manchester United.” The stunning development comes less than 24 hours after the depth of Rooney’s anger at comments made by United manager David Moyes became known. With it looking increasingly like Rooney’s nine-year stay at Old Trafford is coming to an end, Chelsea have made their move. Yet the Blues believe Mata and Luiz are key to their long-term plans and want Rooney to be part of Mourinho’s second coming. Spain playmaker Mata and Brazil defender Luiz are absent from Chelsea’s Asia tour after being granted an extended break following the Confederations Cup. It is clear Rooney is the number one target for Mourinho, who said on Tuesday he had no plans to sell any of his players. That United should dismiss the offer so quickly is no surprise. In recent weeks they have repeatedly insisted Rooney is not for sale, and the idea of selling to a domestic rival is particularly unpalatable. Yet it is difficult to envisage how United can possibly hold that line right until the transfer window closes. It increasingly appears Rooney’s position is untenable, with United fans likely to turn against their one-time hero. And for Moyes, it represents a tricky situation given he is attempting to bolster his squad rather than weaken it. Chelsea have confirmed they have made a bid for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney – but insist no player was offered as part of the deal. Jose Mourinho last week expressed his admiration for Rooney and the offer came with the England striker absent from Australia, where David Moyes’ United are on tour, due to a hamstring injury. Chelsea, however, are adamant that none of their players were offered to Old Trafford in exchange, after Juan Mata and David Luiz were reported to be possible make-weights in the deal. Yet Rooney’s reaction to those comments given in a briefing during United’s stay in Bangkok last week has been the trigger for a further deterioration in the relationship between club and player. Though it is thought Moyes did not wish the comments to come across as disparaging towards Rooney, that is exactly how they have been received, with the player – now back in Manchester for treatment on a hamstring injury – said to be “confused and angry” over their content. The offending words were delivered to Sunday newspaper journalists during a briefing with Moyes in Bangkok last week. Moyes said: “Overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him and I want as many options as possible.” As far as Rooney is concerned, he is at the peak of his career and has no intention of playing second fiddle to anyone, or being reduced to the rank of a squad player. With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winner’s medal to his name, the 27-year-old does not believe he has anything to prove at United. Yet he feels as though he has been put on trial by Moyes at a time when he should be concentrating his efforts on recovering from the hamstring injury that saw him sent home from United’s pre-season tour within hours of landing in Thailand on Thursday. After months of speculation about his future, and no statement of intent to stay from the player, it is now clear that unless there is some major repair work undertaken, Rooney will be leaving. The manner of United’s response is the first major test for Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward since they replaced Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill respectively at the beginning of the month.
By Bruce Fuhr The Nelson Daily Sports The sporting public has heard a lot of Rossland’s George Grey and his success on the cross-country scene. Now that Grey has retired, the fans may start to hear a little more about Nelson’s Shawn DeGroot. DeGroot, 16, won the silver medal in the Junior Boy’s 1994 at the 2011 Haywood Canadian Ski Nationals held last month in Canmore, Alta. “It wasn’t really a surprise . . . okay maybe a bit, in the distance races,” DeGroot, who placed 10th overall in the Junior Boy’s Division, told The Nelson Daily. “I got about the same results last year, but I improved on my sprinting (in Canmore).” The 2011 Haywood Canadian Ski Nationals attracts all of the top athletes in Canada. DeGroot, who skis under the Rossland Black Jack banner, competed in all of the major races — skate, classic, sprint and mass start. He accumulated 217 points in the four races. “The competition was fun, (but) it was surprisingly warm out (for Canmore),” explained DeGroot, who raced three of the four days in a T-shirt. “That means using klister for classic races for grip, it’s really sticky wax (kind of like tree sap or honey) that makes a mess and is a real pain to clean up.” Although he skis for Black Jack to receive expert advice from former National Ski Team coach Dave Wood, DeGroot spends most of his time training on his old stomping grounds at the Nelson Nordic Ski Trails. “I go (Black Jack) occasionally to train and get technique, but still do the majority of my training in Nelson,” said DeGroot, adding his dedication, commitment, perseverance, and lots of time on the trails as the reason for his success. The season has gone extremely well for the 5’9”, 140-pound dynamo. DeGroot finished first overall 1994 for the BC cup series, seventh and first in 1994 in junior boys at the NorAms (North Americans) in Kelowna and fourth in the Rossland Blackjack Loppet. DeGroot, in Grade 11 at L.V. Rogers, still has another year in the junior circuit. So next year is a big one for him. “I’d like to make the B.C. ski team, get good results at cross country running provincials and continue skiing and training hard and to have fun,” DeGroot, who finished 24th overall at the 2010 B.C. High School Cross Country running championships in the fall. “I’d also like to qualify for FIS junior Nordic World Ski Championships in Ezerum, Turkey, although that would be quite tough.” Those goals might be lofty for some. But if you’ve ever seen Shawn DeGroot train, his determination and perseverance, that a bet you don’t want to firstname.lastname@example.org