Real make United sweat over Rooney talks

Posted by ESPN staff

Wayne RooneyPA PhotosWayne Rooney is no closer to knowing his future.

Real Madrid hope Manchester United continue to stall on Wayne Rooney's contract extension talks as they eye a bargain buy.

The Sun reports Real manager Carlo Ancelotti and club president Florentino Perez are long-time admirers of the England forward, and the fact that negotiations to keep Rooney at Old Trafford have not yet taken place could work in their favour. With only 18 months remaining on his contract, Rooney could leave for the Spanish capital for around 20 million pounds next summer. It is also said Real's La Liga rivals Barcelona have also renewed their interest in Rooney.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have firmed as favourites to sign highly-rated left-back Luke Shaw from Southampton, according to the Daily Mirror. The one caveat to a potential deal is that Shaw, 18, wants to be guaranteed a starting place before signing on the dotted line and moving to Stamford Bridge.

That stipulation adds weight to a report in the Daily Mail, which states Ashley Cole -- frozen out by manager Jose Mourinho this week, ahead of the big clash with his former club Arsenal -- is considering retirement at season's end. The 33-year-old has been linked to an MLS shift, but is leaning towards hanging up the boots after the 2014 World Cup.

In the management realm, Tottenham are looking to approach the Dutch FA as they hope to lure the Netherlands' national team boss Louis van Gaal to White Hart Lane. The Daily Mirror claims the 62-year-old is currently top of Spurs' wishlist, and are so keen to secure his services they would be willing to offer a job-share option between Tottenham and the Netherlands through to the World Cup.

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