According to Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail, Chelsea placed a bid of £30 million for the veteran player earlier in the week. This is the second bid after the first one was rejected, so the interest is clear.
The problem is that United manager David Moyes continues to claim that Rooney is not for sale, according to Sky News. This has been the standard statement from the new coach all summer, despite public problems between the two sides.
It is certainly possible that this position will change, but Manchester United does not want to give up one of its best players with no one to replace him, according to David Woods of the Daily Star:
Starsport understands the champions want to make a marquee signing before letting Rooney go - and have told the Blues to hold off making a second bid until then.
United boss David Moyes and the Old Trafford hierarchy want to bring in Fabregas first - they have lodged a second offer with Barcelona, thought to be around £30m, for the Spanish midfielder.
This makes sense for a few reasons. Although Cesc Fabregas and Rooney do not play the same position, they are both excellent players who can help improve an offense with both their passing and shooting ability.
Replacing one of the top players in the EPL with one of the best in the world would certainly help the club remain near the top of the league. The same could not necessarily be said if Rooney is moved without a replacement.
Additionally, selling a long-time face of the club would be a public relations nightmare. Fans are losing faith in the Moyes era already, and United need to do something to make them feel better. Grabbing a world-class player like Fabregas would certainly help in this area.
Which is better for Chelsea?
This is why the club has made not one, not two, but three bids for the midfielder, according to ESPN. While this move still seems unlikely, Sky Sports reports that Fabregas is now considering the move after seeing the increased interest.
Amazingly, Chelsea fans now have to root for United to get their man.
If this move is completed, the defending league champs can then afford to sell Rooney to Chelsea, which is his preferred destination, according to Simon Rice of the Independent.
Herein lies the problem for Jose Mourinho; is it worth pushing for a transfer if it means a rival club could end up getting stronger as a result?
The answer to that question should be yes. The goal during every offseason is to do whatever is necessary to make your club better, and Rooney does that. He can either feature as a top-level goalscorer or as a creator for teammates.
Adding a veteran forward like this not only makes the squad contenders for the Premier League title, but the Blues will continue to challenge for more European titles as well.
If it takes an opponent getting a top player in order to complete a transfer, that is simply the cost of doing business.
Manchester United have struggled to bring in talent this offseason. The club has failed to get Thiago Alcantara, Gareth Bale and are having problems with Fabregas. However, Chelsea fans must hope that this latest one can be completed to enable a transfer of their own.
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