The sources told Politico the only candidates being seriously considered to replace Emanuel are three men already on the Obama team.
Rouse might be called upon to temporarily replace Emanuel until a permanent replacement has been found, the sources told Politico.
Chicago newspapers are reporting that Emanuel may announce as soon as Friday that he is leaving the White House to run for mayor of Chicago.
Politico said White House sources doubt Obama will pick a permanent chief of staff until after the November midterms.
If he does choose an outsider, the names frequently mentioned are former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, CIA Director Leon Panetta and John Podesta, who was chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton.