Jose Mourinho: Manchester United Manager Makes Revelation About This Star Player

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford, August 3. Rooney was a transfer target for Jose Mourinho in 2004. Michael Regan/Getty

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he attempted to sign Wayne Rooney when the Portuguese was Chelsea manager.

Speaking before Rooney's testimonial game on Wednesday night against Everton at Old Trafford, which finished 0-0, Mourinho said he wanted Rooney to become a Chelsea player as far back as 2004.

"You know, I follow from the outside but close because the season he joined Manchester United is the season I came to England for the first time, 2004," he said.

"I've been here already for two different periods and I was close to it. I can say, because everybody knows, I tried to buy him."

Mourinho has made multiple attempts to sign Rooney. In 2013, when Rooney was reportedly left "angry and confused" at Old Trafford, Mourinho gave him 48 hours to decide whether he wanted to move to Stamford Bridge.

Rooney stayed and has now been at United for 12 years, with Mourinho promising that the 30-year-old will return to his more traditional role as striker this season, following an experiment as a midfielder under Louis Van Gaal.