One of the biggest stories as the Premier League offseason approaches is the future of Wayne Rooney. While the transfer talk rages on, the best possible outcome for the longtime Manchester United star is staying with the club where he became a superstar.
There has been no shortage of rumors about where he could end up. Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail linked him to a move with Paris Saint-Germain while his Daily Mail colleague Chris Wheeler mentioned Chelsea and Manchester City as other possible destinations.
The thought of Rooney in a City uniform batting United for the title is enough to make United supporters cringe. Chelsea wouldn't be much better, of course. The last thing the club wants is a motivated Rooney leading another title contender's attack.
So far, the Red Devils haven't lent any credence to the transfer fodder. Sir Alex Ferguson said back in March that Rooney would be with the club next season, according to Sky News, and hasn't said anything since that point that suggests his stance has change.
"He will be here next year, you have my word on that," he said.
"There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don't talk is nonsense.
"He understood the reasons completely. Tactically we got it right. We don't always but we did then."
Ferguson was referring to a Champions League loss to Real Madrid in which Rooney started on the bench and United was eliminated. That's really when the talk of him potentially exiting Old Trafford really began to heat up.
ESPN passed along comments from chief executive Ed Woodward, who doesn't anticipate a massive overhaul during the summer.
"I wouldn't expect there to be a major retooling of the squad," Woodward said. "There is incredible depth. We could put two first teams out with 11 internationals in each. It has been a phenomenal season.
"We are a long way ahead in the Premier League and, whilst I wouldn't describe the way we got knocked out of the Champions League as luck, things could have gone differently in that game.
"We have a young squad and each of those are a year older. We are very comfortable with the make-up of team and squad."
Unless Ferguson and Woodward are putting on their best poker face, it certainly doesn't sound like United is going to make major changes. Moving Rooney would qualify because not only would he leave, but another player would have to come in to replace him.
It's good news for Rooney. Although it took some time for him to get on the same page with Robin van Persie, who assumed the lead striker role, the dynamic duo played better as a tandem down the stretch helping United clinch the title.
The success is a testament to Rooney. He's been forced to adapt to a couple different roles throughout the campaign, mostly as a playmaker, and has responded by tallying 10 assists. It shows he can be more than just a scorer.
Moving forward, van Persie and Rooney should continue to develop chemistry and become the unstoppable one-two punch most people expected last summer. And it will help United remain in contention for the title year in and year out.
What's the best option for Rooney?
Not only does Rooney get to compete for domestic championships, but the Red Devils are also a Champions League mainstay. The number of clubs that can provide those opportunities on a consistent basis are limited throughout Europe.
Unless something drastically changes between now and the summer transfer window, and there's really no reason it should, staying with United is the best option. He's already in good standing with the fans and gets to compete at the highest level.
He would struggle to find that level of opportunity and nearly universal appreciation with another club.