Manchester United are reportedly set to offer Wayne Rooney as a sweetener to Everton to beat Chelsea to the signature of Romelu Lukaku this summer.

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Wayne Rooney is set to become a makeweight for Manchester United in their bid to sign Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window. The Red Devils are confident of beating Chelsea in pursuit of the Everton striker.

Lukaku has progressed by leaps and bounds since he joined Everton from Chelsea, initially on loan in 2013 before making the switch permanent in the summer of 2014. Although a tad inconsistent at times, the player has largely been one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League during his time at Goodison Park.

The recently concluded season was just another testament of how far Lukaku has come at Everton as he enjoyed the most productive campaign in his career thus far. The 24-year-old finished the Premier League campaign with an impressive tally of 25 goals – second only behind Harry Kane in the race to win the Golden Boot.

Suffice to say, he is a player who lived up to his billing at Everton, and is now rightly attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The two clubs leading in his pursuit, however, are Chelsea and Manchester United.

At Stamford Bridge, Diego Costa’s time as a Chelsea player is up, and the Spain striker is set to leave the West London club this summer. However, Costa is determined to leave on his own terms and is adamant that he will only join Atletico Madrid, which is holding up the Blues’ pursuit of Lukaku.

With Chelsea unable to accelerate the process of signing the Belgian powerhouse, Manchester United are ready to swoop in with what they think is a surefire way to land their target man this summer.

Wayne Rooney endured his most difficult campaign as a Manchester United player in the 2016/17 season and was reduced to a bit part role under Jose Mourinho. With the 31-year-old keen to play regular football, he is being heavily linked to a return to boyhood club Everton this summer.

And his move back to Goodison Park is set to gain pace. Jose Mourinho is eager to land a reliable striker before Manchester United embark on their pre-season tour, with Marcus Rashford and the versatile Anthony Martial as his only recognised options up front.

While the club had been in pursuit of Alvaro Morata, the move has stalled, prompting Mourinho to turn his attention back to Lukaku. With Rooney being used as a possible sweetener, Manchester United are confident that they can secure the services of Lukaku while also lowering Everton’s reported asking price of £100 million.

It now remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho and his men can beat Chelsea in pursuit of the Belgium striker by offering Rooney as part of the deal, or if the Premier League champions can find a way to jump back to the front of the queue.