Chelsea back in Rooney hunt as United stall on contract talks
Jose Mourinho is ready to renew his efforts to sign Wayne Rooney after lodging two failed bids last summer.
It is understood that neither the player's representatives nor Manchester United will instigate negotiations over a new contract before the end of the transfer window.
The absence of any contract extension would leave Rooney with just one year left to run on his contract, which expires in June 2015.
That could put United in a similar predicament to the one which faced Arsenal over Robin van Persie when he left for Manchester United with just one year left to run on his contract.
A failure to qualify for the Champions League this season would leave United vulnerable to another summer of uncertainty over the 28-year-old, particularly given Chelsea's desperate need for a striker -- which Mourinho insists will not be bought in the January transfer window.
It is believed, though, that United are prepared to allow the England forward to run his contract down in order to keep him at Old Trafford should they be involved in a battle to reclaim Champions League status next season, with the view being that retaining the player and risking losing him for nothing would make more financial sense than selling him without securing an adequate replacement.
Rooney is rated as doubtful for the League Cup semi-final first leg against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tonight due to an ongoing groin problem.
Van Persie, who has been restricted to two appearances in two months due to a series of injuries, will not figure on Wearside after only resuming light training following a period in his native Holland undergoing fitness work at PSV Eindhoven. (© Daily Telegraph, London)