London - John Terry admits Wayne Rooney would be the ideal signing for Chelsea if the unsettled Manchester United striker is allowed to quit Old Trafford.
VIDEO: Man Utd ad featuring Rooney
Rooney sent shockwaves through the football world this week when he revealed he would not extend his stay at United beyond the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of next season.
The 24-year-old claimed a lack of assurances over United's ability to improve the squad to ensure they can still compete for major honours was behind his decision to end talks over a new contract.
Reports suggest Rooney has also angered United by demanding wages of £50 000 a week after tax and he could even be sold in the January transfer window.
Given the spending power of Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, the Premier League champions are one of the few clubs who could afford Rooney and Terry knows a swoop for his England team-mate would improve Carlo Ancelotti's squad.
"Wayne is the best young player in the world. I am no different to any other player in saying that," Terry said. "You obviously have to respect Manchester United and Wayne, but who knows what's going to happen.
"We've got a great squad of players and he would add to that and strengthen the squad. He is the best player in the world for me."
French striker Nicolas Anelka, a team-mate of Terry's at Chelsea, agrees that his club should do everything to sign Rooney - even though he would be a direct rival for his place in the team.
"If he wants to come to Chelsea he would be very welcome," Anelka said. "Would I buy him? Of course I would, he's a good player."
A meeting between United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and the club's chief executive David Gill was set for Thursday to discuss the best way to resolve the saga.