In the summer, when Chelsea were confident their club would be prising Wayne Rooney away from Manchester, a rumour circulated that Jose Mourinho was prepared to let Juan Mata or David Luiz move in the opposite direction.

The rumour was quickly dismissed, with Chelsea fans scoffing at the idea that Mourinho would be prepared to let Mata, their player of the season two years running, leave the club.

Chelsea FC released a statement to deny the rumours: “Chelsea can confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney. Although the terms of the offer are confidential, for the avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to press in Sydney, the proposed purchase price does not include the transfer or loan of any player from Chelsea to Manchester United.”

As the months have gone by, and it has been shown that Mata clearly is a player Mourinho would allow to leave, you had to wonder whether there was more truth to those rumours.

Yesterday, Mourinho was again asked about his plans to sign Rooney, but he insisted Chelsea had no chance.

“United were clear in the way they approached the Rooney situation,” he said. “They don’t swap. They don’t sell. I don’t see that changing, they were very clear about that.”

Strange then that Mourinho claims United were very clear they wouldn’t be swapping Rooney for any Chelsea players, when Chelsea supposedly never offered a swap in the first place…