Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that Manchester United manager David Moyes is to blame for Wayne Rooney's desire to leave Old Trafford this summer.
Mourinho believes that comments Moyes made during the club's pre-season tour are at the heart of the issue, in which the Scot admitted that Robin van Persie will be his first choice in attack for the start of the season.
The Portuguese coach has risked angering United fans ahead of tonight's game between the two sides at Old Trafford by attacking Moyes, claiming that Rooney is simply unhappy to accept a peripheral role.
He told The Guardian when asked if United fans will give him a hostile reception this evening: "They are against me? But I didn't say [to Rooney] you will be a second-choice for me. And they are against me?
"We are trying to get a player that a manager told 'You will be a second option' for him. We are not going for Van Persie. They don't have to be against me. If I say Ramires is a second option for me and he plays when Frank Lampard is tired or injured, if someone comes here to get Ramires, nobody is upset."
Mourinho was then asked directly if Moyes was to blame for the persistent transfer speculation, replying: "Of course. In every big team, I am not criticising, you have first options and second options, and those second options must be very good players. Of course big teams must have second choices. Big players too. The point is if the players are happy to accept that situation."
The Blues have seen two bids rejected for the England international in recent weeks, but are rumoured to be preparing a third offer before the transfer window closes.