Manchester Utd: 5 Clubs That Might Buy Wayne Rooney
The times they are a-changin' for Wayne Rooney.
After helping Manchester Utd to four Premier League titles and a Champions League, the 27-year-old striker appears to be falling out of favor at the Theatre of Dreams.
Rooney—who has scored 140 goals in 271 games for the Red Devils—was left out of the side that were defeated by Real Madrid on Tuesday following a disappointing performance in the first leg.
It is now perceived that Sir Alex Ferguson feels Rooney's best years are behind him, with Danny Welbeck being the preferred striker partner for Robin van Persie. The Sun say Utd will listen to offers of £25 million in the summer, while ESPNFC place that figure nearer £35 million.
Here are five clubs who may sign the England star...
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According to the the bookies, Rooney's next club is most likely going to be Paris Saint-Germain. Since their takeover by the Qatari Investment Authority last year, millions of Euros have been invested in the Ligue 1 outfit in a bid to make them a dominant force in Europe.
With the recent acquisition of David Beckham, PSG have shown they are willing to make "box office" signings that strengthen the squad—and their marketability. Rooney would sit well in both respects.
Additionally, if Ferguson is correct in asserting that the Englishman's powers are deteriorating, he may be suited to the slightly lower standard of French football. Playing in Paris may also be convenient for his personal life, as his family could still stay in England (as is the case with the Beckhams).
However, France's 75 percent tax rule may prove a stumbling block. PSG currently have to pay Zlatan Ibrahimovic €55 million a year so that he can take home €13 million.
Paying Rooney a similar figure would not necessarily be a problem for owners with bottomless pockets, but spending so much on two players would certainly threaten their compliance with the forthcoming Financial Fair Play rules.
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Manchester City were interested in Rooney when he threatened to leave Utd in 2010, but according to The Guardian, they are no longer willing to match his weekly wages in light of Financial Fair Play.
Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, is thought to have access to a large transfer kitty and an Arsenal fan base desperate for him to spend some of it. He's a known admirer of Rooney, but it also seems unlikely that the Gunners would compete with his current wages.
That leaves Chelsea, a club with a penchant for summer spending sprees who will have a new manager in the summer.
If the new Blues boss finally puts Fernando Torres out of his Southwest London misery, Chelsea's tradition of spending big on Premier League talent could continue with Rooney.
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The immediate future at Real Madrid is unclear, in particular with regard to manager Jose Mourinho. It seems likely he will move away from Spain in the summer, and if he manages to win "La Decima" with Los Blancos, he will almost certainly feel his work in La Liga is done.
Either way, president Florentino Perez is likely to sanction one or two "galactico" signings this summer due to their disappointing domestic performance. Rooney would certainly be considered an upgrade to Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, and he has plenty of experience working with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid have form with buying high profile players from Manchester Utd in David Beckham and the aforementioned Ronaldo, but would the Madridistas be accepting of a player who is no longer deemed good enough by Ferguson? His discouraging recent performance at the Bernabeu may affect their decision.
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David Villa looks set to depart Barcelona this summer and the Catalans would probably not fight to hard if rumors linking Alexis Sanchez elsewhere prove to be true.
In a vote of confidence that may be pivotal to his future, Leo Messi this week said he would love to see Gareth Bale and Rooney join him at the Nou Camp.
The only problem would be that the Englishman's preferred striker role is currently occupied by the aforementioned diminutive Argentinean.
Rooney is very adept playing the supporting role, but may not be content knowing his time at the top of the formation would be rare.
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Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala are owned by billionaire oligarch Suleyman Kerimov. If he can afford to give team director Roberto Carlos a €1.8 million Bugatti Veyron for his birthday, he could almost certainly afford to bring Wayne Rooney to the club!
Anzhi reportedly have the world's best paid player in Samuel Eto'o, so Rooney will find himself well remunerated (something he is clearly interested in, in light of his contract negotiation debacle of 2010).
Last October, Roberto Carlos said Rooney was a "realistic" signing for the Russian side, and their interest will surely be piqued by recent press revelations.