Premier League

Mourinho: It's Rooney or bust

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 17:09:00

Kilmarnock have confirmed the signing of Scotland international and former Hearts defender Darren Barr.

The 28-year-old Scotland international becomes new boss Allan Johnston's first Killie signing since he left Queen of the South to take the reins at Rugby Park.

Barr - who struck the opening goal in Hearts' famous 5-1 Scottish Cup triumph over city rivals Hibs - was allowed to leave Tynecastle by the administration-hit club at the end of his contract.

He started his career with Falkirk and, after being named Bairns skipper at the age of just 22, he was rewarded for his club form with a call up to the Scotland squad in August 2008, making his debut against Northern Ireland in a goalless draw at Hampden.

A spokesman for Kilmarnock said: "Darren joins as a free agent following his departure from Hearts at the end of last season and brings a vast amount of experience to the club having made over 200 SPL appearances over the course of his career.

"Everyone at Kilmarnock Football Club would like to welcome Darren to Rugby Park and wish him every success during his time here."

The money-lending company, Wonga, have their name on the shirt, with the striker, a Muslim, only willing to wear an unbranded shirt or one sporting a charity logo.

Cisse's team-mates Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko are also Muslim, but have told the club they are not concerned with the sponsor and are included in the squad for their pre-season tour.

Representatives of the Senegal forward have been locked in discussions with officials of the club, along with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) but were unable to reach a compromise.

Sky Sports correspondent David Craig said: "Newcastle United, their owner and everybody will be extremely disappointed not to have found a solution to this matter.

"But Newcastle are a club with players from different nationalities, all of whom have different faiths, and they have always been a club that's prided themselves on trying to adhere to understanding those faiths and helping those players with that.

"It's a difficult one for Newcastle but Cisse won't be travelling and he will remain at home."

Cisse will remain in England and continue his training on his own to ensure his fitness levels are maintained ahead of the new Premier League campaign that gets going in just over four weeks.

Last October Wonga was announced as the new shirt sponsor, taking over from Virgin Money for the 2013-14 season.

The 23-year-old striker, who scored 29 goals last season, has agreed a two-year contract to become Blades boss David Weir's fifth signing of the summer

Weir told the club's official website: "Lyle will be a great addition to our squad. He is young, hungry and scored plenty of goals at Falkirk last season.

"We have fought off competition to secure his signature and we are delighted he has chosen to join Sheffield United."

Jose Mourinho insisted the future of Wayne Rooney is a decision for Manchester United as the tussle for the striker's services began in earnest.

Rooney is at the centre of a row between Chelsea and United over a bid made on Tuesday for the player which was rejected by the Barclays Premier League champions.

Mourinho was low-key when commenting on the offer in Bangkok on Wednesday, despite United provoking the Blues' ire.

Chelsea confirmed they want to buy Rooney, who is in dispute with United over comments made by manager David Moyes when he spoke to journalists in Bangkok last week.

However, they are furious at suggestions David Luiz or Juan Mata had been offered as makeweights in the deal.

Speaking in Bangkok following the first match of his second spell in charge - a 1-0 win over Singha All-Stars - Mourinho declined the opportunity to fuel the argument.

"I think that this situation is clear - nothing is a secret anymore," he said.

"The official bid is just about a certain amount of money and doesn't involve players.

"We want the player. We made the bid and now we have nothing more to say.

"Now it's up to Manchester United."

Asked if Chelsea had made any other bids, Mourinho said: "No, and we won't."

Asked whether it is now "Rooney or bust", Mourinho said: "yes."

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