You have to feel sorry for Liverpool. The biggest week in the club’s recent history has been usurped by their long time rivals Manchester United with the news that Wayne Rooney wants out.
Despite no official word from any of the associated parties, the media world is buzzing today and there are strong claims from respected publications and journalists that the England international wants out.
The past couple of weeks have seen Rooney in the spotlight for football related matters as opposed to the off field antics that have were brought to light prior to the European Championship qualifiers.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that Rooney was struggling with an ankle injury yet he managed to play a full 90 minutes for England against Montenegro last week, with the striker claiming he didn’t know why his club manager had said he was struggling.
“I’ve had no problems with my ankle all season,” Rooney said. “I’ve been training for the last two months and I haven’t missed a training session so there’s no problem with my fitness.”
Despite this, Rooney took his place on the Manchester United bench as Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov were partnered together for the weekend draw with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford. Ferguson imposed a media lockdown after the game with no questions onthe Rooney fiasco to be directed to either himself or his assistant Mike Phelan.
Rooney’s contract is up in 2012 meaning United need to sell him between now and and the end of the next summer transfer window or risk losing him to a pre-contract agreement in 15 months time, but where would he go?
The only realistic options in financial terms are Manchester City and Real Madrid but both clubs have their cons with one being United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ and the other located in a non-English speaking country.
The majority of City fans wouldn’t want him anyway, especially given his similarities to Carlos Tevez who is currently in the form of his life, while Madrid would most likely have to stump up a player plus cash deal to take him to the the Bernebau. Karim Benzema would be the obvious choice to move in the opposite direction considering that the clubs battled it out for the Frenchman’s signature when he left Lyon last year.
Ultimately it would be foolish of Rooney to take either option, though if he has burned his bridges with Ferguson then he may not have a choice. The United boss has had no problem ridding the club of negative influences in the past, just ask David Beckham, Jaap Stam and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
It would also be a disaster for United to lose their star player however, especially considering how well he stepped up to the plate with 34 goals in all competitions following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since CR7 exited Old Trafford, Rooney has had to shoulder a lot more responsibility on the pitch and he delivered with flying colours last season. There’s no denying his talent and even if the antics of his private life have come to the fore a little too often, he is a perfect fit for United. His continued association with EA Sports and their FIFA game franchise shows just how marketable he is off the field as well as being a role model on it.
This story has plenty of more twists and turns, no doubt about it, but if Wayne Rooney genuinely thinks that there is another club at which he is better suited then he is horribly mistaken.
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