Chelsea are ready to pounce with a £30million bid for Wayne Rooney if the Manchester United forward’s proposed new contract talks hit the buffers.

United will meet Rooney’s representatives this month for initial discussions about a new deal, but serious doubts remain as to whether they can persuade him to sign if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League.

That has prompted renewed speculation over the England star’s future and Chelsea will be knocking on United’s door - as they did last summer when a move to Stamford Bridge looked on the cards.

Manager Jose Mourinho made Rooney his No.1 priority to the extent that other Chelsea targets, such as Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Mario Gotze and Neymar, were allowed to slip through their net.

The west London club were not discouraged following discreet overtures over Rooney’s unrest at Old Trafford.