Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the club would be interested in signing Wayne Rooney if the striker decides to leave Manchester United.
According to reports, Rooney, 24, has broken off contract talks at Old Trafford and, with his current deal due to expire in 18 months, it is claimed United could be ready to cash in.
Sir Alex Ferguson is set to face questioning about the Rooney situation at his press conference on Tuesday, having refused to field questions during Monday’s conference to promote the relationship between the club and Unicef.
Ancelotti, though, has said that Chelsea would be keen to take advantage of the situation should Rooney decide to depart.
“We have to wait to see if Wayne Rooney really wants to leave Manchester United,” he said. “If they really want to sell him and, also, if Rooney is on the market, not just Chelsea would be interested but a lot of other teams as well.”
Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all reported to be interested, but Ancelotti acknowledges that Ferguson is unlikely to allow one of his leading stars to leave without a fight.
“Every top team has a fantastic player and they want to keep them,” he said. “If someone asks for one of our top players there is no way – they would have to stay here.”
Madrid boss Jose Mourinho also said he expected Rooney to remain at United.
“I don’t think he will (become available),” Mourinho said on Monday. “I think the big man will persuade him to stay.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is another convinced Wayne will remain at United.
Quoted in the Daily Star, Wenger said: “Rooney is a great player. I am convinced he will stay at Manchester United because it is his club.
“They have the power to keep him. When you give a great player a rest, you have a story. Rooney is Rooney. He will stay where he is.”