Chelsea are set to return with an improved offer for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney - with the club readying a bid of £40m.
The Evening Standard report that Rooney remains Chelsea's main target this summer - and having seen a bid of £27m rejected - are prepared to make a much improved offer that could tempt United to part with the England international.
Jose Mourinho wants Rooney to lead the line at Stamford Bridge next season, despite going into the campaign with Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba to choose from.
The Independent understands should Chelsea be successful, one of either Torres or Ba will be allowed to leave, with reports this week suggesting Valencia are interested in signing the former.
Mourinho had insisted that the Blues would only make one bid, however, the need to acquire him means the club will return with a much higher offer.
Manchester United do not want to sell the 27-year-old forward to a Premier League rival. But the former Everton star is still angling for a move away from Old Trafford this summer and is believed to have made Chelsea his first-choice destination.
United boss David Moyes is set to have more talks with Rooney over his future now that the club’s pre-season tour in south-east Asia has finished.
Rooney had to return from the trip after just one day because of a hamstring injury and was angry at quotes attributed to Moyes in the Far East which implied he would be merely used as a back-up to Robin van Persie.
Moyes insists his words were taken out of context and is keen to stress the player’s importance to the club’s attempts to win silverware.
Chelsea denied speculation that they offered David Luiz or Juan Mata in an attempt to persuade United to sell.
There were fears that the duo, who returned to pre-season training for the first time on Sunday after extended time off, would be unsettled by reports suggesting Mourinho didn’t want them at the club.
But both players have departed for Chelsea’s tour to the US, where they will play four friendly matches.
They appear relaxed to be working with Mourinho. Luiz said: “He is a great coach and has credibility across the world. He has won many titles and has the same ambition to win more.
“When you have the opportunity to work with a fantastic coach like him, then of course you’re excited.”
Mata added: “I met him the other day, he is a great manager. He has done a really good job here and all of us are waiting to win the title.”
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