The Red Devils are rumoured to be scouring the market for big additions before the transfer deadline, with David Moyes desperate to bolster his squad after a difficult opening half of the season.
Mata has been on the club’s radar for some time, with the Spanish playmaker having grown frustrated at a lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
The Blues themselves are keen on United’s Rooney – player they had multiple offers rejected for over the summer – which has opened the door for a swap deal.
The England international was believed to have been open to a move away from Old Trafford during the last window, and will enter the last 12 months of his contract at the end of the season – with no extension to the deal in sight.
Although a straight swap is unlikely, United may make attempts to push a deal.
It’s more likely that a £20m bid could be made, which will open the door for a similar offer to be made by Mourinho for Rooney in six months’ time.
Mata himself may be open to the agreement, with playing time ahead of the World Cup a priority.