Ashley Cole could be key to Chelsea landing unsettled Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

Rooney has declared Cole his best friend in football, claiming they'd 'die for eachother'.

The Daily Mail says the England ace told CNN pundit Piers Morgan last summer: "He's nothing like what you guys think. Ash is a really sound guy and has been a proper friend to me. I'd take a bullet for him.

"I would! And he would for me, too. We'd die for each other!"

Last night, a United spokesman insisted: "Wayne Rooney is not for sale."

United could get £25m for Rooney, who has scored 16 goals this season, money which could be reinvested to sign Robert Lewandowski or Radamel Falcao to partner Robin van Persie in attack next season.