Arsenal are back in for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, after top target Luis Suarez reportedly apologised to his Liverpool teammates on returning to Anfield and pledged his immediate future to the Reds.
Arsene Wenger made enquiries regarding Rooney at the start of the summer, before starting work on a £40m plus deal for Uruguayan international Suarez, but with that deal seemingly scuppered, the Emirates boss has gone back to Old Trafford for the England man.
United – who can be backed at 20/21 to kick-off their title defence with a win at Swansea – have been fending off Chelsea’s advances towards their prolific front-man, whose record of 156 goals in 11 Premier League seasons shows why the 27-year-old is so frantically sought.
It was thought that David Moyes would mimic successor Sir Alex Ferguson’s policy of never strengthening a domestic rival, but after selling Robin van Persie – who is blocking Rooney’s route into the first-team at Old Trafford – to United last summer, Wenger is hopeful that a deal can be done.
Rooney is amenable to a move to the Emirates, although he would prefer to join long-time admirer Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba not commanding the full confidence of the Portuguese manager, the former Everton striker would expect to be first-choice up-front for Chelsea.
Moyes will have to decide whether he can risk the effect of an unhappy player on the United dressing room, or break with the past and sell to a local suitor, with little interest forthcoming from the continent after a summer of record-breaking signings.