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Aug 17, 2013

Lampard backs Blues' Rooney pursuit

Frank Lampard would welcome Wayne Rooney at Chelsea this season and has encouraged new boss Jose Mourinho to "get his man" as his pursuit of the Manchester United striker continues.

• ESPN FC Premier League predictions

Chelsea have had two offers for Rooney rejected by United in recent weeks, but Mourinho has stated publicly that he will chase the England striker until the transfer window shuts on September 2.

Now Lampard has supported the move to sign Rooney, but he insisted the subject of his potential switch to Stamford Bridge was not raised when the duo met up on England duty last week.

"I think Chelsea have made their interest known and it’s a decision for them and Wayne to come to," Lampard told Sky News. "Were going into the season strong but, if the manager wants to add another player, we all hope he gets his man.

"I didn’t speak to Wayne about it when I was with England last week, he was training and he was focused, and I’m not privy to the transfer stuff. That’s for clubs to decide, I’m a player. I just keep my mouth shut and train and play."

Lampard went on to hail Mourinho’s return to Chelsea and confirm he had an option to join MLS side LA Galaxy when it seemed as if the club he has been with since 2001 would not offer him a new contract for this season.

"It was certainly an option that we looked at," he said when asked about the possible move to Los Angeles. "My hope was always that I would stay at Chelsea and help the transition of the young players and I’d like to that that would have happened even if Jose has not come back as manager.

"It’s a happy coincidence that he is back as manager as well. I’ve always had a huge appreciation of that and, even when he wasn’t at the club and has been away, we’ve stayed in touch.

"I wouldn’t say [we’re like] father-son because he has a very good way, as all the best managers do, of being quite familiar with you and helping you, but also remaining a manager.

"He’s not a father figure too much, so you have to respect him. I think we’ve tried to find the right mix in our relationship and maybe we have done. I have a huge respect for the way he does things. He took my game to a new level when he was at the club first time."

Meanwhile, Lampard has questioned suggestions that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be moved to a winter event, as he cheekily urged FIFA to consider moving the competition to England if a compromise cannot be found with the current hosts.

"Practically, to move the World Cup to the winter, I find it quite hard," he added. "We all moan about how many games we’ve got and trying to fit games in and I don’t know how you can do that in the middle of one of our seasons, let alone other countries that will have to reshuffle their diaries for it.

"If you want to see a high-level World Cup of the top quality, going to different continents and playing in different conditions is part of it.

Brazil is going to be different for us but I don’t think anyone wants to see it in 50C heat.

"I don’t know what the answer is and whether it’s possible. I wish the World Cup would come to England at that stage and be done with it.

"We’ll see. You never know."

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