Chelsea to muscle in on Wayne Rooney if Arsenal make move

Blues are ready to fight Arsenal for striker if Moyes signals United will sell this summer

Chelsea would be prepared to take on any attempt by Arsenal to sign Wayne Rooney should Manchester United and their new manager David Moyes decide that the player can be sold this summer.

The Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis made a bold statement to his club’s supporters this week when he claimed that the club would benefit from the “escalation of our financial power” with their annual income set to rise by £70m, indicating that the transfer fee for a player like Rooney, and his wage demands, could be met.

However, the England international, who has two years left on his existing United deal, is also admired at Chelsea and they would not permit Arsenal to sign the player without putting to him an offer of their own. A new striker is one of the key positions, along with centre-back and defensive midfield, that the club hope to address this summer.

Rooney, 27, would command a substantial salary as well as the fee to take him from United. Chelsea are still at an early stage in their decisions over targets in the attacking position but there is no question that they would be in the market for Rooney if that was a possibility.

The Napoli striker Edinson Cavani is the other main option that the club have, although any deal there is not guaranteed to be cheaper for a player who is only 16 months younger than Rooney and as yet unproven in the Premier League. What does not seem to be in doubt is that Rooney has options post-United, although the question remains whether the club would sanction his sale, and whether they would do so to a domestic rival.

The Porto central defender Eliaquim Mangala is Chelsea’s first-choice signing in that position this summer, with the club having done extensive scouting of the player with a view to acquiring him even before the arrival of Jose Mourinho.

Mangala, 22, a France international, has become one of the rising stars of European football and would follow a well-trodden path from Porto to Chelsea. He would represent a major investment, around £20m, but his age and experience make him worth the cost, especially in a key position that needs strengthening.

The signing of Mangala, who is well regarded throughout Europe, is made considerably easier by the return to Stamford Bridge of Mourinho and his agent Jorge Mendes, who helped facilitate the transfers of Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Jose Bosingwa between the two clubs in Mourinho’s first spell.

Mangala would give Chelsea strong cover at centre-back, with David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill and John Terry. There is a big decision to be made on Terry’s future, with one year remaining on his contract. Chelsea announced yesterday that Ferreira, Yossi Benayoun, Florent Malouda and Ross Turnbull would leave this summer as well as, among others, former academy boy Aziz Deen-Conteh.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible