• Manchester United dig heels in over striker
• Unwilling to allow domestic rivals to strengthen
• United to make record bid for Chelsea's Mata
Manchester United remain resolute that Wayne Rooney will not be sold to Chelsea as part of any prospective deal for Juan Mata.
Although Rooney will have only a year remaining on his contract in the close season, United are determined not be pressed into selling the 28-year-old to recoup a fee for him unless the terms suit.
While United have not yet made an official move for Mata, Chelsea are braced for a bid from the champions, with the west London club valuing the playmaker in the £35m to £40m bracket.
As José Mourinho is keen to revive last summer's failed move to sign Rooney, the Chelsea manager could attempt to use the Spaniard as leverage to secure the Liverpudlian's signature, as he did previously.
Mourinho was convinced he had secured the transfer of Rooney before the Portuguese realised that United's determined stance that the forward would not be sold to a domestic rivals would not change.
Mourinho's comments last week, when he claimed that Rooney would be sold abroad at the end of the season, may also have been part of the Portuguese's strategy to encourage the forward to make the move to Chelsea happen.