London – Chelsea emerged as a potential bidder for Wayne Rooney after manager Carlo Ancelotti said he would be interested in signing the England striker should he become available.
Rooney’s future at Manchester United appears to be in doubt after a reported breakdown in relations with his manager Alex Ferguson.
Manchester City is widely reported in the British press to be ready to make an offer for Rooney but Chelsea is the first club to openly declare an interest.
“You have to see if Wayne Rooney really wants to leave,” Ancelotti said yesterday ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Spartak Moscow.
“Secondly, if Manchester United really want to sell him, and thirdly if Rooney is on the market, I think that not only Chelsea but a lot of teams would be interested.”
Rooney started on the bench on Saturday as United drew 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League, only going on with 19 minutes left in the game.
That decision by Ferguson increased the speculation about Rooney’s future.
British newspapers were united today in saying Rooney, who has less than two years left on his United contract, would be open to a move to City, following in the footsteps of Carlos Tevez.
The Argentina striker made the cross-city switch to Eastlands in July last year.
The Times newspaper reported that Rooney has requested a 100% pay rise to stay at United.
United chief executive David Gill said yesterday the club would “say something (about Rooney) at a more appropriate time”.