The former Manchester United defender has warned David Moyes against selling the England striker to a Premier League rival but accepts that he is on his way out at Old TraffordEXCLUSIVE
By Russell Stoddart
Manchester United legend Gordon McQueen believes Chelsea would be guaranteed Premier League title winners if they manage to sign Wayne Rooney.
The Blues were knocked back with their initial £10 million plus Juan Mata or David Luiz bid on Tuesday evening, although are expected to increase their offer as Jose Mourinho looks to land the England striker.
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He told Goal: "Even though I'm resigned to Rooney going now, it's crucial for United that he goes abroad and doesn't stay in the Premier League where he can really hurt us.
"There are only three clubs in this country that could afford him. He won't go to Manchester City and I don't think he's Arsenal-bound, but what concerns me is that if he heads to Stamford Bridge then that could make the difference in the title race.
"Last season we somehow managed to get our hands on Robin van Persie from Arsenal and I said at the time that would guarantee us the title.
"I have a feeling that a Rooney deal with Chelsea could have the same impact this season."
Despite the news that one of Mata, who picked up Chelsea's Player of the Year award last season, or Confederations Cup winner Luiz were included as part of a deal to take Rooney to Stamford Bridge, McQueen isn't convinced that Mourinho would ultimately allow either of the duo to leave.
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"Moyes was adamant that Rooney was not for sale, but it now looks like he's not been able to convince Rooney that his future lies at Old Trafford.
"That is bad news for David because he needs to build trust with United fans and they will feel let down if Rooney heads out the door.
"Rooney may not be held in quite as high regard with United fans as he was because of his form last season and his attitude, but he's still a world-class talent who would be greatly missed.
"Of course players like Mata and Luiz would strengthen the United squad, but I just can't see them coming.
"However, losing Rooney would put pressure on David to sign a couple of top quality players before the start of the season, but there is a lot of work involved these days to get the big names and I'm not sure United have anything imminent.
"United don't do panic buys but if other clubs get the impression that United are desperate to replace Rooney then asking prices will shoot up as we get close to the season."