Blues want to exploit the commercial appeal of the England star and the number previously worn by Michael Jordan and David Beckham.
Chelsea will hand Wayne Rooney the iconic number 23 jersey should they sign him from Manchester United, the Daily Star claim.
The Blues are growing increasingly confident that United will sell the unsettled striker this summer and have set aside the famous number for him, which holds high esteem in the sporting world having been worn by Basketball legend Michael Legend and David Beckham when he joined Real Madrid in 2003.
Rooney does prefer to wear the no. 10 for club and country, but with Juan Mata currently in possession of that double digit the 27-year-old will be allocated no. 23, previously worn by international team-mate Daniel Sturridge at Stamford Bridge.
And there is a commercial line of thinking behind giving him such a well recognised number given his status as one of the most marketable players on the planet and the west London club know they can reap lucrative financial rewards from marrying them together.
Meanwhile, manager Jose Mourinho remains optimistic he will have Rooney in his squad for the start of the new Premier League season but says the club haven’t made a second bid after their initial £20 million offer was turned down by United 10 days ago.
“We have made that bid, which was public and official, and after that nothing else,” Mourinho said in Jakarta on Thursday.
“But we are calm because we are happy with what we have.”