Mourinho: England will suffer if Rooney is second choice at Manchester United

The Chelsea manager, who expressed his admiration for the 27-year-old striker last week, has again had his say with the future of the former Everton star remaining up in the air
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that the England national team will suffer if Wayne Rooney is second choice at Manchester United.

The 27-year-old striker, whose future at Old Trafford remains uncertain despite David Moyes categorically ruling out a potential sale, often played second fiddle to top scorer Robin van Persie last season and was dropped by then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson for a crucial Champions League meeting with Real Madrid in March.

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And, having revealed just last week that he was a fan of Rooney as reports continue to link the Blues with a big-money summer move, Mourinho has now insisted that remaining second in the pecking order to Van Persie will only damage Roy Hodgson's Three Lions in their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup.

"If Wayne is a second choice for Man United, then the national team will be affected," the former Real Madrid boss said, as quoted by The Independent.

Mourinho also discussed John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, revealing that the English trio are setting the standard in pre-season, with Chelsea taking on Singha All-Stars in their first friendly of the 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday.

"When I see Terry, Cole, Lampard, the way they are working it's easy for me to demand the same from the other guys," he added.

"I can say 'Look that them: they don't miss one minute; they are training like animals; they compete. So you, who are 18, 19, 21, don't tell me you can't do it'."