The suggestion that Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata could exit Stamford Bridge and secure a transfer up the M1 and M6 to Old Trafford to join Manchester United has gathered momentum as the week has progressed, with a reported posturing over the final valuation of the player and a medical examination at Stretford potentially concluding this week.
While The Telegraph claim a £37m fee could be placed by United for the unsettled Spaniard, former professional and current commentator Andy Gray - speaking on the Alan Brazil show on talkSPORT - offered what he believes is the 'likely deal' that will take place between the two modern giants of British football.
Speaking from the Chelsea viewpoint, who have no pressing need to sell for such a fee unless the money received would go toward funding their own move for a striker, Gray claimed that it won't just be cash heading to West London, but a player, too.
'I can see them using Juan Mata as a carrot. Maybe David Moyes thinks 'you know what, he is the kind of player we need and maybe getting Wayne out of the club and getting someone else in might just freshen it up'. I can see that certainly being a likely deal.'
Currently sidelined, Rooney has - despite United's falling standards - performed excellently and has displayed his finest attributes throughout the season thus far: strong work-rate, high athleticism, power and speed and has returned nine goals and 11 assists from 17 Premier League appearances.
Mata, meanwhile, who has rarely completed a 90 minute appearance for the Blues, is yet to score in the league but has assisted twice, in 13 matches, or 826 minutes of competitive football in the division.
image: © nasmac