Chelsea has been linked to Wayne Rooney for a majority of the offseason, but Manchester United has maintained that the world-class striker isn't going anywhere, even with the Red Devils set to begin a new era under first-year boss David Moyes.
With August fast approaching, the only thing that has changed apparently is the Blues' confidence in their ability to acquire the 27-year-old forward.
According to the Mirror's Martin Lipton, Rooney is Chelsea's No. 1 target this summer, and the club is confident that it can bring him over for roughly £30 million:
The Stamford Bridge club will table a second bid of £24 million this week and feel they can get their man for around the £30 million mark – despite Manchester United’s insistence the England man is not for sale.
Jose Mourinho has made Rooney his prime target, with the Chelsea board confident the Scouse ace will not wear a United shirt again.
Although it would be shocking to imagine United letting the face of the club go to a rival club, there's no doubt that the move would make tons of sense for Chelsea if it could pull it off at a cost of £30 million.
While Rooney's lackluster production a season ago alongside Premier League-leading goalscorer Robin van Persie hardly suggests he's worth such an impressive figure, intelligent football minds like Mourinho understand that even when players of Rooney's caliber aren't scoring, they're impacting the match.
After all, it was just two seasons ago that Rooney poured in 27 goals in 34 league matches.
In addition to that potential, Rooney brings an intimidating presence to the table—a presence Chelsea has lacked at the top of its lineup since the departure of Didier Drogba in 2012.
High-paid star Fernando Torres has struggled to stay in top form, evidenced by his eight goals in 36 Premier League appearances last season.
Telling was the fact that veteran midfielder Frank Lampard led the club in Premier League goals a season ago, scoring 15 in 29 matches. Juan Mata scored 12 and no other player had more than nine. That said, Rooney would easily become the club's go-to and likely leading goalscorer.
And surely Mourinho knows how to maximize on elite striking talent. The Chelsea boss helped mold Drogba into a star during his first stint at Stamford Bridge and is coming off a run with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.
The fact that Rooney is his top target this summer suggests the Portuguese manager is confident in his ability to squeeze the most out of Rooney as he gets set to enter the prime of his playing career.
But at the end of the day, money rules everything. And if Chelsea can't land their man for a price in the range of £30 million, the club must quickly change course and look for cheaper options that carry less financial risk.
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