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Arsenal and Chelsea bid for Rooney

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A tug of love over Wayne Rooney might seem an unlikely scenario, even if his hairline has been miraculously restored. That is what is occurring though, with both Arsenal and Chelsea keen to sign the pudgy-faced England striker.

The Rooney story has been on a low simmer throughout the summer. New Manchester United manager David Moyes has decided to put it on the boil with some carefully-timed remarks about Rooney being a handy backup for United's first-choice striker Robin Van Persie. This had the intended effect of making Rooney and his people mightily aggrieved.

It seems like a calculated piece of politics from Moyes, trying to spin Rooney's departure as the player's idea rather than the manager's. United are hoping for the player to put in a formal transfer request and thus surrender his right to substantial contract bonuses. The London clubs have been quick to seize on the obvious availability of the Scouse star.

Chelsea say that Rooney is the only remaining target for Jose Mourinho this summer. An opening bid of £20 million was rejected, and Chelsea are willing to throw an extra £5 million into the pot, although they stressed they are not offering any Chelsea players as part of the deal. Mourinho has already expressed his admiration of the player and Rooney might welcome a little manager love after the ambivalence of Sir Alex Ferguson and the antipathy of Moyes. "The club knows we want the player," Mourinho said. "The player has to know we made a bid for him. Now it's up to them."

Arsenal, attempting to recast themselves as big spenders this summer, have already tried to lure Luis Suarez from Liverpool and Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. With both clubs wanting in excess of £30 million for the players though, Rooney might be the cheapest option. Arsene Wenger said that Rooney's wages would not be a problem.

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