The Manchester United star has told the club he wants to leave Old Trafford and his resolve is believed to have been strengthened by the impending arrival of David Moyes
By Wayne Veysey ¦ Chief Correspondent
Arsenal and Chelsea have joined the scramble to sign Wayne Rooney this summer, Goal.com has learned.
The two London heavyweights have registered their interest in the Manchester United forward after being alerted to his potential availability.
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Sources have said that the striker, who has had his differences with Moyes in the past, is unwilling to work under his former boss and his first manager in professional football.
England’s talisman told Sir Alex two weeks ago that he wanted a transfer at the end of the season but the Scot made it clear that the club were not willing to sell him.
Rooney has grown increasingly frustrated with his downgrade in status at Old Trafford, which culminated in him being dropped for United’s biggest game of the season, the Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid
As revealed by Goal.com in March, the 27-year-old harboured doubts about his future long before the Real showdown. He is believed to have told team-mates during the international break in the first week of February that he could leave United in the summer.
All of Europe’s leading clubs have been alerted to Rooney’s situation in recent days.
Paris Saint-Germain had expressed an interest earlier in the year but Chelsea, Bayern Munich and, more surprisingly, Arsenal have now asked to be kept informed of developments in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer.
Rooney has two years remaining on a United contract worth more than £200,000-a-week, which makes him out of reach for all but a an elite minority of the world’s richest clubs.
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That is unlikely to be palatable to the player and his long-time agent Paul Stretford, who want to test the market and see what is on offer elsewhere.
The new Premier League champions have insisted Rooney is "not for sale" but they could be hemmed into a corner if the striker pushes hard for a transfer as his current £25 million value will quickly depreciate once he enters the final 24 months of his contract without extending it.
Arsenal and Chelsea are both in the market for marquee forwards in the forthcoming transfer window, which opens in 11 days' time.
As revealed by Goal.com on Tuesday, Arsenal are in advanced talks with Fiorentina to sign Stevan Jovetic and Arsene Wenger is also targeting a second marquee striker signing this summer, with Robert Lewandowski and Edin Dzeko among those on his shortlist.
Wenger, who had the biggest transfer kitty of his 17-year reign available to him this summer, has made no secret in the past of the admiration he holds for Rooney.
The striker’s wage demands would appear to price Arsenal out of the equation, but Thierry Henry was paid the equivalent of £200,000-a-week in the final year of his first spell at the club and the Gunners will be loosening the purse strings this summer to attract A-list talent outside of their tight wage structure.
Chelsea’s top forward target has been Radamel Falcao and a deal is in place for the Colombian to join from Atletico Madrid for around £50m in the summer.
But billionaire owner Roman Abramovich has a history of statement signings, particularly if they weaken a rival, and the Europa League finalists are regarded as serious players in what is developing into a race for Rooney’s signature.