Arsenal chiefs are convinced they can prise Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United. The Daily Mail says a move for Rooney was first discussed in a scouting meeting in March, but there was an acknowledgement that his £250,000-per-week wages could be a stretch too far for the club.

However, Arsenal are refusing to dismiss the idea of landing Rooney this summer. He has just two years to run on his existing Old Trafford contract, and the Gunners hope that the security of a five-year deal worth close to £200,000-a-week will be an attractive proposition for the striker.

Arsenal are also willing to hand Rooney a multi-million pound signing-on fee to supplement his wages.

The deal would make Rooney the club's best ever paid player.