Jack Rodwell
Jack Rodwell has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in January. REUTERS

Manchester United have emerged as front runners for the signature of England midfielder Jack Rodwell, after Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas ruled out a move for the Everton star.

Reports on Tuesday claimed Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham were all considering £20 million offers for the highly-rated youngster in the New Year.

However, Villas-Boas has denied the Blues will make an offer for the 20-year-old in January, paving the way for a move to Manchester United.

"I saw that we'd been linked with him. First, it's important to clarify that it's unfair that I constantly comment on other players," the Chelsea manager told Sky Sports.

"In midfield, we don't need players. Rodwell has been playing there this season. Midfield is not a sector where we're desperate to strengthen our squad. So at the moment those stories are false."

Earlier this week, Everton boss Moyes dismissed rumours of a January switch to Manchester United or Chelsea and claimed the midfielder would have a brighter future if he remained on Merseyside.

"His development here has been good. I've not heard anything from Chelsea. I've not had a bid. There was a bit of speculation about Jack [going to Manchester United] in the summer as well and nothing came of it. I'm looking at this one as the same sort of speculation and hopefully nothing will come of this.

The England international, has garnered plaudits this season with a series of eye-catching displays, following a frustrating 18-months dogged by injury and loss of form. Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been most recently linked with the midfielder, but Manchester United and Arsenal have also been credited as possible admirers in the past.

Chelsea take on Tottenham on Thursday night hoping to end a run of six league games without a win at White Hart Lane.

And tonight's clash will provide Villas-Boas with another opportunity to scout Spurs playmaker Luka Modric; however the Chelsea boss insists the club will not make a bid for the player next month.

Modric was the subject of one of the summer's most protracted transfer sagas when Tottenham rejected a reported offer of £40m. Villas-Boas refused to rule out a bid for the Croatian midfielder in the future but said it was unlikely to happen during the next transfer window.

"In the future, I don't know about Modric," Villas-Boas added. "We're not looking at it at the moment.

"He's an extremely creative player, one of the greatest talents in the world, a player who will have tremendous success."