Wayne Rooney is the key to this year's summer transfer window.
As the summer transfer window opens, all eyes are locked on Old Trafford and its temperamental superstar Wayne Rooney.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Rooney requested a transfer, the Manchester United forward has been rumored to just about every club across Europe.
Rooney is the biggest name on the market, and he is the domino that could start a chain reaction of signings throughout the league.
It looks like Chelsea could emerge as a player in the Wayne Rooney sweepstakes. Manager Jose Mourinho talked at length on Tuesday about Rooney, singing the praises of the 27-year-old forward, as reported by Sam Wallace of the Independent.
Mourinho said: "I think he [Rooney] is at a fantastic age for a player: maturity, big experience, still young. It's up to him and what he wants, what makes him happy. He's a little bit like me: he doesn't need one more pound in his contract. One more cup won't make a different. Be happy. Where is he happy? Where will he find more happiness to have ambition and drive him? I like him as a boy. I wish him well and hope he is happy.
At first glance, Chelsea seems like an odd fit for Rooney as most of the team's offense comes from its attacking midfielders Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. The team's top forward, Fernando Torres, only managed eight goals in 36 appearances for the club last year.
But despite playing in only 22 fixtures last year, Rooney more than doubled his assist total from 2011/12, tallying 10 helpers compared to just four the previous year. If he is willing to play a pass-first role, Chelsea may be a perfect fit in an already high-powered offensive attack.
And Torres is reportedly on his way to Barcelona, according to John Drayton the Daily Mail, which would open up a slot for Rooney as the team's leading forward.
If Rooney does sign with Chelsea, the club should quickly close the 14-point gap between themselves and Manchester United and compete for their first EPL title since 2009/10.
It certainly looks like Manchester United is preparing for life without Wayne Rooney. Neil Custis of the The Sun is reporting that the team is actively pursuing Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski was expected to end up at Bayern Munich, but according to Custis, Manchester United has jumped into the bidding and are looking to pay the Polish striker £4.7 million, paying a transfer fee of £25.5 million.
Lewandowski would add fire power up front for the Red Devils. In 29 Bundesliga appearances last year, Lewandowski recorded 24 goals and five assists. His numbers for 2012/2013 were actually better than Rooney, who only recorded 12 goals in 22 fixtures for Manchester United.
If the team does sign Lewandowski, it probably signals the end for Rooney with the defending champs.
In the end, Rooney's future could very well depend on David Moyes, who has the unenviable task of following Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.
Keep in mind that it was Moyes, then managing Everton, who sold Rooney to Manchester United prior to the 2004/05 season.
Financially, the best move for the club is to sell Rooney, collect the transfer fee, and spend it on new talent, especially if Rooney shows a lack of interest in continuing to play for the Red Devils.
The team proved that it could compete in the Premier League without Rooney last year, winning 73 percent of its games without its star, according to Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail.
Though they were slightly better with Rooney in the lineup, replacing him with the cheaper Lewandowksi would allow the club to upgrade its midfield with the money it saves, which could allow the team to continue its reign over the Premiership.