Top-shelf scorers like Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo have headlined an impressive list of potential transfer targets this summer, but it remains to be seen whether any of those players will actually make a move before the transfer window closes.
In the case of Rooney, there’s very little to suggest a move away from Old Trafford could be in the cards. The Manchester United striker was enveloped in drama earlier in the year, but that drama seems to have cooled off.
Much of that unrest stemmed from the belief that Rooney was unhappy with his playing situation, rumoured to have turned in a transfer request to former boss Sir Alex Ferguson. But as Steve Bates of the Daily Mirror reported, the 27-year-old never actually made an official transfer request.
True or not, the speculation involving Rooney is a direct result of that information. With every striker-hungry club circling Manchester United looking for an opportunity to pounce, it only makes sense Rooney’s apparent unrest would be blown out of proportion.
According to David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror, new boss David Moyes is fending off advances from rival clubs looking to potentially cash in on the perceived drama at Old Trafford, including Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.
As quoted by McDonnell, Moyes has been adamant that Rooney is not for sale:
Unless I was speaking Double Dutch last week, we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale. People are entitled to talk about good players. I'm getting asked plenty of questions about Wayne. Jose has been asked about players as well. It's hard to keep repeating myself but I will - Wayne is a Manchester United player and it will remain that way. It would be unusual for a manager to not take such a stance on a star player, but there’s always the possibility that Moyes is covering his bases to stave off the flurry of attention the situation would bring were he to not defend one of his best players.
But Rooney’s recent hamstring injury raises more questions about the striker’s willingness to remain at Old Trafford.
As noted by Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, Rooney sustained a hamstring injury that will effectively end his Asian tour with United in the coming month.
Given the fact that Rooney has yet to publicly support staying with United, the injury comes at a curious time. While simply speculation, some believe there could be more to Rooney’s month-long trip back home than meets the eye.
Still, Moyes reportedly admitted that Rooney sustained the injury prior to the trip to Bangkok, as noted by Guardian Sport on Twitter:
Whatever the case, it would be unfair to assume Rooney’s injury has anything to do with his potential desire to leave United. At this point, the talk is unfounded and unjustified.
On the Other Hand…
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Rooney is still thought to be mulling over a potential move to rival Premier League clubs:
Despite Moyes insisting Rooney is not for sale, the player himself is said to still be open to the prospect of a move after nine years in Manchester.
He is understood to have told friends he is ready for a move to London, with Chelsea ahead of Arsenal in the battle to sign the 27-year-old England star.
That’s not exactly a solid foundation to stand on when examining Rooney’s future, but Cross’ report is in line with what we’ve heard time and again in this situation.
Considering nothing new has developed short of a routine injury and a manager backing his player, it’s hard to believe Rooney is going to be on the move any time soon.