Manchester United: 5 Clubs Linked with Striker Wayne Rooney

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 13, 2013

Manchester United: 5 Clubs Linked with Striker Wayne Rooney

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    It has been over a week since Manchester United were defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League in controversial circumstances.

    Nani's dismissal cost Sir Alex Ferguson and his team a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament, and it remained a hot topic for the remainder of the week.

    However, the other big talking point of the last-16 second leg was the omission of striker Wayne Rooney from the United starting XI.

    Rooney's absence for the biggest match of United's season sparked a wave of speculation that the 27-year-old would be leaving Old Trafford in the summer.

    Ferguson was at pains to emphasise the England international would not be sold in his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the FA Cup tie against Chelsea, as reported by The Guardian.

    However, that has not stopped various media outlets lining Rooney up with other clubs.

    Here, we look at the destinations mentioned in the same breath this week as the former Everton forward.

Paris Saint-Germain

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    Rooney was immediately linked with Paris Saint-Germain in the aftermath of the Real Madrid defeat, with the Daily Express claiming a £30 million move for the striker was on the cards.

    The Qatari Investment Authority, who own the French club, have invested heavily for coach Carlo Ancelotti's squad, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham currently playing at Parc des Princes.

    PSG were also linked with a multimillion move for Rooney last summer, as The Metro reported.

    However, the Daily Mail cautioned against the transfer happening due to taxation issues for high-earning players in France.

Barcelona

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    Few could blame Rooney for looking for a transfer to Barcelona, as the Daily Star reported five days ago.

    As the Catalan giants proved with their remarkable Champions League comeback against AC Milan on Tuesday, they remain, arguably, the best team in the world at the moment.

    Rooney is no stranger to facing Barcelona after playing for United in two losing Champions League finals against them.

    Lionel Messi has already expressed his admiration for Rooney (via the Daily Mail), but whether the La Liga club would see the forward as part of their plans is open to debate.

Bayern Munich

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    Rooney would be a welcomed addition to the Bayern Munich squad, according to the German club's honorary president Franz Beckenbauer (ESPN).

    But even the Bayern legend did not know whether the speculation linking the forward with the Allianz Arena was true or not.

    Incoming Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has previously expressed his views on Rooney (The Sun via ESPN) and has been linked with a move for the striker this summer, according to a report in the Sunday Times (via the Daily Mail).

Monaco

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    AS Monaco are on the rise again and have targeted Rooney to spearhead their first season back in Ligue 1 next year since 2011, says the Daily Star.

    Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri is now in charge at the club and Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev views Rooney as Monaco's marquee signing this summer, according to the report.

    The Star article also claims Monaco, who are expected to be promoted from Ligue 2 this year, will offer the 27-year-old a tax-free deal to leave Old Trafford for the Principality.

Manchester City

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    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was quick to dismiss suggestions Rooney could cross the city to join his team, as The Independent reported.

    But the England international was strongly linked with a move to City in 2010 (The Guardian) as he became embroiled in a dispute with his Old Trafford employers (Daily Telegraph).

    Rooney chose to stay on at United and Mancini maintains he can see no way the forward can leave the club.

    But with doubts over the future of Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko at the Etihad (via The Mirror), the Italian will need to bolster his strike force over the summer.