Jose Mourinho declined to confirm whether Chelsea are considering a renewed attempt to sign Wayne Rooney in January.
Mourinho made no secret of his desire to sign Rooney in the summer, when the forward had appeared eager to leave Manchester United after a difficult final season under Sir Alex Ferguson, but David Moyes refused to consider cashing in.
Rooney has been one of the most impressive United performers of Moyes’ reign so far, but the Scot said recently that, despite the striker’s contract approaching its final 18 months, there were no talks over an extension scheduled.
The Daily Mirror reported this week that, as a result of United’s stance over the contract renewal, Chelsea are on “red alert to make a second bid.”
When the subject arose at the prematch news conference on Friday, Mourinho declined to give a straight answer, instead laughing and asking: “Who links us with him?”
Mourinho repeated his claim that the Blues are not actively looking to bring in a new striker next month, but he indicated that they would make a signing if a suitable opportunity arose.
“The market opens in January, but as I was saying, I don't think we will be there, buying or selling,” he said. “If something happens it will happen [with] one player because the occasion was very good, because something happened that push us in that direction, but we are not smelling the market and waiting desperately for Jan. 1 to do something.
“We always thought to try the best with this team and wait for the right moment to improve the squad and be strong.”
Mourinho also suggested that, while he was happy with Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o, he would welcome a striker who could offer a different option.
“Some strikers are players with fantastic individual qualities and they can by themselves do what their team is not able to do,” he said. “The world has a lot of examples. Teams not playing especially well, but they have certain kind of individual players that by themselves can be the solution for the team problems.
“Our strikers are not individual players with this kind of quality, this potential. They are more in the team dynamic. They do other things for the team. At the moment, the number of goals is frustrating, not just for me but especially for them, but their contribution is good.
“The other players [at Chelsea] are scoring goals -- this is also because of the work our strikers do. By themselves, they resolve problems. We don’t have this kind of striker. We have to organise in a different way.
“Do I expect them to score a little bit more [from the strikers]? Yes. Do we need a bit more? Yes, but we cannot expect Demba Ba or Fernando Torres will get a ball, run and dribble and score like [Luis] Suarez, [Sergio] Aguero. No. They are different type of players.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho said defender David Luiz is not set to leave the club in January, despite fresh reports linking him with a move to Barcelona.
“His future is that he has a contract, a long-term contract, no contact from other clubs or from his people,” he said. “In this moment everything is clear.
“He is our player and we are happy he is back. He is back in a moment when [Gary] Cahill is not playing and we need him to play a second match in a row.”