Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has again sent a thinly veiled message to Wayne Rooney about sitting on the bench at Old Trafford, insisting all World Cup hopefuls must get first-team football ahead of next summer's finals.
Mourinho was repeating comments he made earlier in the week, which surely have links to Rooney's situation at Manchester United where David Moyes has suggested that Robin van Persie will be his lead striker this season.
When asked about Brazil 2014, Mourinho did not refer to Rooney - his sole transfer target - but his message was clear after on Wednesday saying the England international was his main transfer target for the summer.
Chelsea confirmed they have lodged an official bid with United for the striker.
"Any player that wants to go to the World Cup, if they are a second choice at their club, then they're in trouble, they're in trouble," Mourinho said at a press conference on Thursday on Chelsea's pre-season tour. "This is a crucial year for that and many national team coaches are worried because they want players to play regularly for their teams."
But he reiterated that Juan Mata and David Luiz, on extended leave due to their Confederations Cup exertions, would not be sold. He said: "No chance. No chance."
Mourinho also added to comments he made during his first media day back at Chelsea, when he said the club needed stability, by saying he intends to be at Stamford Bridge for years to come.
"If Chelsea can become a really special club for me, it's because Chelsea can be a special club for everybody," Mourinho said. "I left the club in 2007. I went to two fantastic football countries like Italy and Spain, I went to two fantastic football clubs like Inter Milan and Real Madrid and I was always wishing to be back.
"This club is so special that I'm back and I hope to stay for a long time. That's the only thing I can say, to every other professional in the world. This is my own experience. I'm back and I'm so happy I'm back.
"The most important thing in football, either for players or for managers, is the passion, the happiness and the feelings we have for a club. We all are professionals, but at the same time we all are in love with our job.
"If you can execute your mission, your job - either as a player or a manager - not just because you are paid for it, not just because it's your job, it's your work, but because you can do it with happiness and passion and feeling, that's the most important thing.
"The most important thing for me is the deep feeling I'm at a really special football club.
"Not many clubs are like that, where people remember you and the fans sing your name, not just at Stamford Bridge but all over the world, you can't have a better feeling."