UPDATE: Rooney agreement?
By BlueTinted Gaz at 14:30 on 29/07/13
OINK ~ Noun: an item or story published or broadcast by only one source that isn't the usual spurious, attention seeking sh*te you see elsewhere.
Before anything else, it may be necessary to outline what it is I "do" and thus how I come about snippets of information and pass them on to Twitter followers or via this site.
The image of an "ITK" or someone who's best mates with Ron Gourlay is a complete fantasy, a myth created by social media. It's true to say there are people out there - agents, friends of players etc - who get to "know" stuff, but you should bear in mind the last people to know things about their clubs are often the players.
Back to me then, and how is it I am different to other people claiming to be in the know? Well, the reality is I'm not. I'm a normal bloke in a normal job leading a normal life and a fanatical, but otherwise normal, fan of my club.
When running a site such as this, something I've done to differing degrees of involvement since 2006, you make connections. You build up a log of reliable people, people happy to deal with you, and some crackpots too. For example, I have transacted on more than one occasion with Bruce Buck, Pat Nevin, Jody Morris, Steve Kutner and many others with regards to club business and reporting it on the site (only a couple of these are confirmed crackpots).
Like any fan, I'm interested in transfer gossip. It's like purest Crack to our cold-turkey gossip receptors. It wasn't long after joining Twitter I was using it and my site contacts to try and find things out, by any means, to see what the club was up to. As it turns out, some of my contacts have proven very reliable and Bluetinted has been able to bring you exclusive information before others, most recently on the signings of Van Ginkel and Schurrle, and on issues relating to various bids being made for other players.
The "key" to getting reliable information is thinking outside the box. You need to consider football is a business with many branches, and the areas to target if you're sniffing around for info are the ones not normally public facing; commercial partners and agencies working on behalf of the club.
Recently I was able, several hours before the club made any comment, to tell you definitively that the press talk of a bid of Rooney including one of Luiz/Mata was nonsense. Not only that but that it had specifically been fed to a particular journalist by United as part of their standard PR response. Later that afternoon Chelsea made a statement whilst on tour confirming this set of events. I should highlight I immediately said "NO bid" when told quite irrately it was, and I quote, "f**king bollocks" and understood that to be the entire bid - but even so.
How was I able to do that? In essence, because I picked up the phone and spoke directly to someone on tour with the club as a commercial partner who I knew would have been involved in any "counter-PR" from Chelsea. I can't tell you the name, or the company they work for - for obvious reasons - however when you consider who might be involved in Chelsea's PR releases, which companies would be bothered by club moves in and out and certain players being involved, you can get an idea.
I hope that answers a few questions on where my stuff comes from, and I'm always happy to discuss on twitter. I'll not always be right, and I can't comment on everything, but those who've followed me for a while will testify that I'm probably a hell of a lot more reliable than others.
That all cleared up, here's what I've been told re: Rooney and a transfer to Chelsea.
After the initial bid made for the player, delivered in writing and in standard format by Chelsea, United's PR response was textbook in issuing a briefing (Mata/Luiz inclusion) designed to spin positive light back on the Manchester side and keep focus on Chelsea rather than them.
Chelsea were, understandably, furious. Why? Because the initial leak about any bid being made at all came from United's camp, and thus the PR response on their part was to their own mistake.
Over the weekend following the initial bid which, contrary to many reports, was NOT rejected out of hand, the clubs discussed at length how to approach the situation in as calm a manner as possible out of respect for two new coaches. The agreement was reached that neither club would brief directly on the subject, and neither club would aim PR briefings at the other club.
Following on from this, having accepted the desire to move from Rooney some time ago, the clubs also reached a "gentlemen's agreement" that the player could be sold in this window to Chelsea subject to an appropriate fee being met, that the non-aggression PR pact was respected, and United had time not only to source a squad replacement but also to manage fans expectations.
United had initially been geared towards pushing Rooney to make a transfer request and direct their PR towards painting him as the "villain" and thus gaining fan support for his sale. This approach was subsequently shelved, although is the natural response should the PR pact be infringed upon.
Where does this leave us then?
Well, Chelsea and Rooney's camp will remain all but silent on the issue. Rooney will still be required to play for United prior to any transfer, and train normally. United are actively involved in seeking a replacement although it's not clear how genuine their interest in Fabregas is - bear in mind clubs manage fans expectations by letting slip they've bid for a player they never realistically considered buying: see Arsenal, every summer.
The expectation is that whilst no fee has been agreed, Rooney will be a Chelsea player by September 2nd. It is fair to say transfer is not guaranteed, and that another club could enter into the bidding, but all parties have reached an accord that if it can be conducted where all interests are covered - it'll happen.
I must stress though that no price has been agreed. United's valuation of Rooney is almost certain to be higher than Chelsea's, and no discussions have taken place between the player and CFC.
That's where I'll leave it, you'll hear more over the next few weeks I'd imagine.
Silly season, eh?
You can follow @bluetintedgaz on twitter for more updates daily.