Manchester United’s want-away striker Wayne Rooney could be about to hand in a formal transfer request to force through a move to Chelsea after a second offer was rejected by the Premier League champions.
United officials confirmed this morning that the Blues made a second unsuccessful bid for the England international, thought to be in the region of £25m, as they try to lure Rooney to Stamford Bridge.
An official club spokesman told the Press Association: "A bid was received yesterday and immediately rejected. Our position remains that he is not for sale."
Chelsea are currently in America for the International Champions Cup but Jose Mourinho is so determined to add Rooney to his squad that club secretary Dave Barnard has stayed in London in order to head negotiations for Rooney.
It is believed they will not bid over £30m for the 27-year-old, but Chelsea could give United officials something to think about with a third offer after Rooney reportedly confirmed to manager David Moyes that he wants to leave when the two met over the weekend.
The two clubs meet on August 26 and should the matter not be finalised before then, United could choose to leave Rooney out of the match-day squad due to his desire to move to Chelsea.
He featured for 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Real Betis over the weekend, and he is also set to feature against Swedish club AIK in Stockholm on Tuesday as he continues his comeback from injury.
He has told team-mates that he does not wish to move abroad and claims irreconcilable differences with the club have forced his decision to leave Old Trafford, and Chelsea appear to be the only team seriously interested in his services at the present time.
Comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson in May angered Rooney along with David Moyes words that he would not be first choice this season, which left the forward “angry and confused” according to his friends.
It was reported last week that he would put his future in the hands of the Manchester United faithful and base his decision on the reception he got from fans in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial on Friday, but it seems the transfer request could be lodged before the match and a potential backlash from supporters will add to his reasons for leaving.
United fans have already forgiven Rooney once before, when he asked for a transfer in 2010 before finally agreeing a new five-year contract worth £240,000-a-week, which Chelsea are ready to match should he be allowed to discuss terms with the west London outfit by his current club.