International Manchester United try to stamp out Chelsea’s Wayne Rooney interest with ‘back off’ letter

Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward has sent Chelsea a ‘terse’ letter warning them to make no new bids for Wayne Rooney.

Chief executive Woodward – backed by the champions’ American owners – put his views in writing in a ‘Dear Roman…’ message aimed to block a new bid.

United have turned down two offers for unsettled Rooney from the Roman Abramovich-owned Londoners and are expected to knock back a third.

Woodward hope that the letter – which asks Chelsea not to make any further bids and to stop commenting on Rooney, while spelling out United have no intention of selling the England forward – would see an end to the summer-long transfer saga.

However, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho plans to go to £40million for Rooney on Monday, when the two sides play at Old Trafford.

After Chelsea’s win over Aston Villa on Wednesday, the Special One said: “We did (bid) before and we will do later, but I think this period [ahead of Monday’s match] – from the ethical point of view – is a period when we are going to be quiet and just thinking about that game.”

In private, Mourinho is bullish about his chances of landing Rooney before the September 2 transfer deadline.

Chelsea know it will be hard to land their Plan B – Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski – but want a clear answer from United on Rooney before going official with that option.

ROMELU LUKAKU insists he can establish himself as Chelsea’s top striker – even if the Blues sign Rooney, writes James Nursey.

He is now pushing for a start at Manchester United on Monday and is not worried about Chelsea’s pursuit of other strikers.

Lukaku said: “Samuel Eto’o or Wayne Rooney, I’m not scared, let them come. If they can improve the squad, why not? I never run away from the competition. It’s something I’ve liked since the day I started. I have to work as hard as I can and see what happens.”

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