While transfer-rumor buzz is constant background noise throughout the year, the volume was raised to a shout when the tabloids posted bold headlines about Wayne Rooney’s possible exit from Manchester United this summer.
As The Daily Mirror’s David McDonnell writes:
Sir Alex Ferguson no longer views Rooney as indispensable and will look to offload the £35million-rated striker this summer.
But the tabloids are certainly not in agreement over the potential blockbuster move. The Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman reports that United would sell Rooney for as little as £20 million, while The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson says City will not be in the running and ESPN FC’s Miguel Delaney added Real Madrid as a potential landing spot for the English star.
There is certainly reason to doubt reports claiming specifics, but Rooney’s history at United suggests that a move away from Old Trafford this summer is a possibility. Here is a breakdown of the situation regarding his potential transfer.
Why Rooney Will Stay
Rooney arrived at Old Trafford as an 18-year-old who had already been pegged as the next great English star. His arrival came with high expectations, but he has certainly lived up to them during his United career.
He has been incredibly consistent, scoring at least 10 league goals in every season since signing for the Red Devils in 2004, and he has established himself as one of the world’s best players.
This season has brought new challenges, but Rooney has met them head-on and remained productive while playing as an attacking midfielder behind Robin van Persie instead of in a striking role.
He is a world-class player in the prime of his career at a club where he is beloved. He is also in a situation where he competes for trophies every season, and all this suggests that these transfer rumors will be forgotten when the team begins its next campaign.
Why Rooney Will Leave
Transfer rumors involving Rooney popped up three years ago, and the star striker appeared to be forcing his way across town to play for Manchester City.
He and Sir Alex Ferguson eventually made nice, and United’s decision to offer him £250,000 per week certainly helped his decision to stay at Old Trafford. But if another club were willing to take on his massive contract, there is certainly motivation for him to leave.
Being left out of the lineup for United’s Champions League showdown against Madrid was surely insulting, and the fact that the Red Devils’ attack has focused on van Persie this season adds to the notion that he is no longer as crucial to the squad as he once was.
If Rooney leaves to a club where he is a more central figure, and United is able to use the funds from his deal to add another superstar, then both sides will benefit from the change, making this transfer a real possibility.
Where Rooney Will Land if He Leaves
Even after taking a back seat to van Persie this season, Rooney’s time as a talisman for the Red Devils forces United to bring in a top talent to replace him if he leaves.
As the ESPN FC report cited earlier notes, the other rumored blockbuster for this summer is Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential return to United. If Sir Alex lets Rooney leave, he will surely want to bring in the former Red Devils winger.
This still does not necessarily mean that Rooney will be sent to Madrid in a swap for his old teammate, but this is one possibility. Ultimately, the club that buys him must have a massive amount of available funds.
The two clubs that fit this description and will be motivated to make a massive signing in the summer are Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. PSG has been on a mission to sign big names and build its brand, while the Blues’ failures in the Premiership and Champions League will likely lead to another spending spree.
In the end, Rooney has an impressive history at United, and the team has the talent to continue winning trophies throughout his career. The last time the tabloids furiously pumped out transfer rumors about his exit, he ended up staying.
That will be the case once again, and Rooney will still be a Red Devil during the 2013-14 campaign.