Chelsea have been offered a glimmer of hope in their bid to sign Wayne Rooney.

Mirror Sport understands Jose Mourinho has been told that Manchester United ARE prepared to do business - but only if they can find a replacement for the ­unsettled striker.

The Special One has made clear his intention to make a third approach for Rooney before the transfer window slams shut with sources close to the club suggesting it would be at a ceiling of around £30million.

Champions United have already made contact with the west Londoners to make clear their position but without ­slamming the door totally shut.

Manager David Moyes is becoming increasingly irritated with the constant chatter linking his centre-forward with the Stamford Bridge club and increasingly frustrated at having to deal with the issue.

He wants to concentrate on his own search for the new signings he promised to make before the window shuts and United have made clear his feelings in conversations with the Blues' hierarchy.

The situation is complicated because Rooney wants a new contract if he stays and United are determined to wait to see if he deserves a new deal - and a pay-rise on his already eye-watering £250000-a-week salary.

Moyes though knows he can’t allow one of his biggest stars to leave before he has a marque signing lined up to appease the fans and offer a serious ­declaration of intent.