The debate over Wayne Rooney’s continued presence at Manchester United has been rumbling on for years. There are fans that have never forgiven the former Evertonian for his public courtship with Manchester City in 2010, and those that swear that the man who is two goals away from matching Sir Bobby’ Charlton’s scoring record for the club should be treated as the legend he is. These days, however, most United fans agree that Rooney is not the force he once was, with the 30-year old’s pace long gone, and the toll of playing football at the highest level for the last 14 years having taken its toll on his body.
It’s taken Jose Mourinho’s appointment as manager of United for Rooney to be dropped on a consistent basis, something that David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were unwilling to do despite Sir Alex Ferguson publicly admonishing him in the last days of his reign as manager of the club. Mourinho effectively dropped Rooney from his main starting line-up for Premier League games after a torrid performance against Watford in September, although his return to the side that beat Swansea 1-3 last Sunday featured two assists for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goals.
Either way, it’s now clearer than ever that Rooney’s days as the undropable striker at United are done, and as such, rumours of a potential exit from Old Trafford have continued to swirl. The Telegraph have reported that Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford was given a verbal offer of a gigantic £300,000-a-week contract from Luo Ning, chairman of Chinese Super League side Bejin Guoan. The offer is a whopping £60,000 a week increment ( he earns £260,000 a week )on his current pay with Manchester United. The deal was rejected outright, with Rooney preferring to stay in the North West, but with his status as a sure starter under Mourinho diminished, it might be time for the England captain to consider his next move.
The Chinese Super League, as flush with cash as it is, could spell the end of his England career, however. Few players are afforded the luxury of being selected for a national side as big as England if they’re playing in a league which is as poorly perceived as that, and there are big doubts over whether Rooney and his family will even want to move to a new country without knowing the language at this stage. Plus, with his current contract at United running until 2019, and his big wages still rolling in, it’s tough to see Rooney jumping ship, at least during this season. Perhaps a move to America, once he has become United’s all-time top goalscorer by the end of this current campaign is more realistic.