Having established that Wayne Rooney handed in a transfer request and is looking to leave Old Trafford, what exactly lays ahead for Manchester United and the want away striker?
Rooney looked rather uncomfortable during United’s title celebrations and was boo’ed by some fans during both Sunday and Monday’s events. With Sir Alex confirming that he had asked to leave again, Rooney must have felt especially uneasy during the parade but he took to the bus and enjoyed the festivities as best he could.
Once the season draws to an end though all the fun will stop and Rooney as well as Manchester United will be faced with the question; where do we go from here?
Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure means that David Moyes will likely be left with the final say in what happens, making the situation even more awkward given the history that he shares with Rooney. And though the two have patched up their differences, the term ‘forgive but don’t forget’ springs to mind especially with the allegations that were levelled at the new United boss by Rooney.
Moyes spoke well of Rooney at a recent engagement with the Cambridge Union, calling him ‘one of the best players in the world’ and many believe that Moyes could try and keep Rooney at the club, and in terms of United as a team this isn’t a bad thing. Although he has flattered to deceive, when Rooney is fit and at full flow he is easily one of the better players in the world. So if Moyes can get him back to his best it will be to our advantage.
But it is getting Rooney back to his best that is the major sticking point, can he be bothered?
With the summer approaching Rooney is likely to wind down after what has been a long season. This will include holidays away with drinking and if he follows form, smoking. At his age and with his body type, a few weeks of neglect will do serious damage. We saw last season how he sauntered into the start of the season, a piss poor performance from a clearly unfit Rooney against Everton somewhat set the tone for the season and he was duly dropped for the next game against Fulham.
If he does stay and turns up in such condition again will it have been worth it? From his book you get the impression Wayne was none to impressed with Moyes’ authoritarian ways as a kid, so how will he take to them as a man? Because to avoid a repeat of the start of last season, Moyes will need to be constantly breathing down Rooney’s neck, ensuring he is taking pre season seriously.
Then there is the possibility that Wayne has already made his mind up and wants to go regardless of Sir Alex stepping down and Moyes’ wishes to keep him at the club. So where will he go?
Few club can or will be willing to match United’s £40m valuation and Rooney’s £300k p/w wages but there are apparently suitors. Initially Rooney was linked with Bayern Munich, with claims that Germany was his preferred destination but their sporting director Matthias Sammer is quoted as saying he isn’t part of their plans this summer:
“I don’t know what Rooney would bring to the Bundesliga. I can’t answer that.”
“I can answer that we have great respect for Wayne Rooney, but there has been no contact with him.
“He’s not on the agenda. No, no. Absolutely not.”
There has also been mention of Arsenal but I, like most, think they fit into the first category of clubs that can’t match the club and player’s demands despite Arsene Wenger’s remaining tight lipped on a potential move for the striker.
Chelsea are a name that have also been strongly linked and can afford to sign him, they are also domestic and with Rooney’s relationship with Ashley Cole, they aren’t a bad shout. United would have to think this through though as they aren’t usually in the business of strengthening rivals. Chelsea with Mourinho and a striker that can actually score and with a point to prove could be dangerous in terms of title hopes.
Man City remain in the same boat as 2010, it is a non conversation even though they too can afford him and offer him the chance to remain in the north west of England.
There have been rumours of secret talks with Real Madrid, and whilst Rooney may or may not be up to moving abroad, it could be a viable option for United with the papers claiming the Spanish side have a number of players that pique interest at Old Trafford including Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
The same can be said for PSG, an hour away from London with former England team mate David Beckham there to hold his hand, Rooney could join the French champions. They have previously denied interest but with Ibrahimovic possibly returning to Juventus they will have space for a new striker. When rumours of Rooney’s departure first emerged it was PSG who were touted as his new club, and they can easily afford to pay him more than he is currently on now.
A move abroad where he can cause the least damage to United would be preferable for most fans if he goes, and both of his international suitors can afford to pay top dollar so they would be in the club’s vest interest to get him there too but essentially the question is, will Wayne want to go abroad?
Unlike in 2010, Rooney isn’t the top dog at the club and with the reason he gave for wanting to leave it’s hard to see him hanging around unless he himself makes the changes that make him undroppable? Whilst he still has fans at the club the booing shows that for some he has completely burned his bridges after asking to leave for a second time.
There are various options for both club and player, some more favourable than others. How Moyes deals with this matter could have a huge say in how his Manchester United career pans out.