Chelsea have confirmed they have made a bid for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney - but insist no player was offered as part of the deal.
Jose Mourinho last week expressed his admiration for Rooney and the offer came with the England striker absent from Australia, where David Moyes' United are on tour, due to a hamstring injury.
Chelsea, however, are adamant that none of their players were offered to Old Trafford in exchange, after Juan Mata and David Luiz were reported to be possible make-weights in the deal.
Ahead of Mourinho's first match of his second spell in charge in Bangkok, Chelsea issued a statement, which read: "Chelsea Football Club can today confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney.
"Although the terms of that offer are confidential, for the avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to the press in Sydney, the proposed purchase does not include the transfer or loan of any players from Chelsea to Manchester United."
The stunning development comes less than 24 hours after the depth of Rooney's anger at comments made by United manager David Moyes became known.
With it looking increasingly like Rooney's nine-year stay at Old Trafford is coming to an end, Chelsea have made their move.
Yet the Blues believe Mata and Luiz are key to their long-term plans and want Rooney to be part of Mourinho's second coming.
Spain playmaker Mata and Brazil defender Luiz are absent from Chelsea's Asia tour after being granted an extended break following the Confederations Cup.