Throughout the press in recent days, we have seen quite a bit about the possible departure of Wayne Rooney to pastures new. Funnily enough, it began after Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Rooney for the Real Madrid clash on Tuesday, United’s most important game of the season so far.
There are quite a few sensible reasons why Manchester United would sell Rooney. At the age of 28, he is supposed to be entering his peak years as a footballer, but his fitness does not seem up to scratch as he is looking perhaps a little less ‘dynamic’ than usual. Another feasible reason is the money situation at Manchester United. With Rooney entering the last two years of a £200k a week contract it is time to open up talks over a new one. If reports are to be believed he will be looking for more money and an extension. With United’s policy of offering 1 year contracts to players over 30, it does not look likely that this will go through.
Even though Rooney can be played in a number of roles, if he is not deemed essential to the squad, then surely it makes sense to sell him now and earn a profit to make improvements at United. He is expected to fetch anywhere between £25 – £40 million and this begs the question: who could afford, or even want to buy Rooney?
With the nouveau-riche Parisians not-so-quietly making moves in the transfer market over the past year, it would be a huge coup if they could make Rooney their marquee signing in the summer. He would give an extra dimension to their squad and add more grit to the number ten role, which Lavezzi and Pastore, more technically gifted players, simply cannot offer. I believe it could also give them the extra impetus to dominate in the Champions League.
With Real Madrid progressing in the Champions League, leaving Manchester United in their wake, they have a great chance of securing the one trophy that Mourinho craves the most. If they do win, it would be hard for Rooney to turn down the chance to be join ‘Los Blancos.’ A chance to join the prolific Ronaldo is also an incentive for Rooney as they formed a huge part of United’s 2007/2008 league and Champion’s League double. He would also help Real form a bigger challenge in La Liga as they have been trailing behind Barcelona and city rivals Atletico Madrid this season.
Arguably the strongest squad in world football, it would be tough to see Rooney fitting in to their ‘tiki-taka’ system. They do have the funds necessary to bring in Rooney after signing a new sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways. I believe Rooney would give Barcelona a new dimension to their play. Although, their football is beautiful to watch, they only have one way of playing. As we saw recently with their losses to AC Milan and Real Madrid, once their game was nulified, it was easier for AC and Real to beat them. Rooney is the type of player who will take a game by the scruff of the neck and really force others around him to play and he could become a talisman for the Catalan club if he were to move there.
Manchester City were linked with Rooney when he handed in his transfer request in 2010 and with this new story breaking about a possible departure, their interest was quickly dismissed as they have to be careful with UEFA’s financial fair play rules and cannot afford to pay Rooney the £300k a week that his wages could rise to.
With the money from a Rooney transfer, Ferguson would be looking to bring in a new striker and this story links well with his reported interested in Poland and Borussia Dortmund striker, Robert Lewandowski, who would prove an able replacement.
If Rooney decides to move in the summer then it will, no doubt, be a drawn out transfer saga and it will be interesting to see what is to become of the man who burst on to the scene all those years ago with THAT goal against Arsenal as a 16 year old.