Manchester United have tabled a club-record bid in the region of £35m for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.
David Moyes is keen on getting new and reliable players for the Premier League champions before the close of the current transfer window and the Old Trafford club is prepared to break the bank for any such player.
United, who had said it is yet to table an official offer, is believed to be acting through intermediaries in a bid to snap up the Spaniard.
Mata, 25, have found it difficult to earn a starting role for himself under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho, who would want him to “adopt to the direction” he was taking the team.
The player did not train with the rest of the squad on Wednesday and is linked with a move away from Stamford bridge.
Chelsea insisted Mata was not for sale on Tuesday, but his inability to force his way into Mourinho’s scheme has fueled rumours other clubs could bid for him.
Mata has been substituted in nine of his 13 league appearances for the Blues, while playing second fiddle to the likes of Oscar, summer signing Willian and Belgian, Eden Hazard, so far in the ongoing campaign.
He joined Chelsea from Valencia for £23.5m in August 2011 and has scored 18 times in 82 league appearances for the club on his way to being voted Chelsea’s official player of the year for the past two seasons.
United have however downplayedany notion concerning allowing Rooney to move the other way round in part payment for the former Real Madrid youth player, but are willing to pay a premium for top players- with the club lacking in some significant roles at the moment.
The initial offer, which exceeds United’s £30.75m signing Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, is likely to be rejected with Chelsea thought to be holding out for more with just few days and a week left before the close of the current transfer window.