The English superstar seemed to grow slightly disillusioned at United this past season, as his Premier League appearances hit a career low. Further, with David Moyes coming into Old Trafford as the new manager, rumors have swirled about a potential exit for Rooney given his contentious past with Moyes.
Through the first month of of the summer transfer window, though, nothing has come of the situation but these pieces of gossip. Still, the situation could quickly explode over this final stretch before the season and through August.
To foresee what might be coming for one of the hottest commodities on the transfer market, here is the latest news surrounding Wayne Rooney and Manchester United.
On Friday, the Daily Mirror's Matt McGeehan reported that Mourinho had become adamant that Rooney was the only transfer target for the Blues.
Then, in a press conference Sunday, Mourinho made some cryptic comments about chasing a striker right down to the deadline, as reported by The Sun:
The club is in a very good balance with salaries, income, outcome. So not to break the balance in our numbers and to still invest in a player that costs £20 million, £25 million, £30 million—the club is ready for that.
Do we need to sell first? No, no, no, we don’t need to sell.
The striker I want doesn’t cost £50 million, doesn’t cost £40 million.
Further, when asked about whether he would chase the target to the September 2 deadline day, the manager said, "That's why it's open."
Given that Mourinho has said that he has just one transfer target in mind, though, the player to which he is referring is hardly a secret. Apparently, Chelsea's pursuit of Rooney could last right to the end of the window and even approach a £30 million bid.
According to some reports, if Chelsea's bids fall flat, the forward could find himself at Arsenal.
The Independent's Simon Rice wrote last Wednesday that Rooney would be open to a move to the Emirates if Jose Mourinho and the Blues fail to secure his signature by the end of the transfer window.
The news has given life to the Gunners and manager Arsene Wenger, as the club is now expected to enter the transfer saga. Arsenal has clearly had their eye on signing a new striker this summer, as many of their top choices failed to perform last season.
After they failed to secure a transfer for Gonzalo Higuain, the Gunners have apparently turned their attention to Liverpool's Luis Suarez. However, the prospects of signing Suarez have taken a hit recently, as the club has had two bids rejected by Liverpool.
If they can instead nab Rooney from United, it would be an unexpected coup for Arsenal that would fix any problems they face up front.
In an interview with Laureus.com, England legend Sir Bobby Charlton expressed his belief that Wayne Rooney would remain at United through the summer.
The former United player and current member of the club's board of directors took time off of a charity event in Hong Kong to share his thoughts on the situation at Old Trafford:
Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player. We are not silly enough to make any rash decisions. I don’t like losing really good players and he is a really, really good player.
I was hoping one day that he might score as many goals as I had and that would have been really nice if it was at our club – and I’m still thinking that way.
While Sir Charlton might not have insight into Rooney's thoughts and desires in this transfer saga, his position on Manchester United's board means that his views could be a good indication of how the club is leaning.
If that is the case, Rooney might not want to pack his bags just yet.
While the organization's first choice may be to keep Wayne Rooney, the reigning Premier League champions are apparently willing to sell their striker off to a foreign club if necessary.
According to the Mirror's Simon Mullock on Saturday, the Red Devils will refuse to allow Rooney to leave Old Trafford for either of the linked destinations of Chelsea or Arsenal. However, the report goes on to claim that United would allow Rooney to find a new home in a foreign land.
Such a clause seems like a no-brainer from Manchester United's perspective, as the English juggernauts should not want their current superstar to come back to haunt them in league campaigns to come. A few foreign clubs that have reportedly shown interest in Rooney this summer are La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to The Sun.
The question remains, though, on just how much Wayne Rooney wants out of Old Trafford and whether he fancies himself as the type of person who could get on in a new environment.
So where will Wayne Rooney find himself in just over a month?
With Chelsea apparently willing to spend as much as £30 million on the transfer, it is probable that the Blues will lose out only if Manchester United are unwilling to sell Rooney to another English club.
As a result, it is difficult to see him going to Arsenal this summer. Further, Rooney has thus far shown little interest in a move abroad. While the allure of prestigious clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid might be great, the Englishman would have to push for such a move in order for it to be completed.
Hence, it is unlikely that he is headed to a foreign club this summer. That leaves just a stay at United and a move to Chelsea for Rooney. While both are distinct possibilities, the likelier of the two is Rooney staying at Old Trafford for another season.
The reigning Premier League champions have made their feelings clear about the prospect of selling a top player to a rival club, while Bobby Charlton's words should speak volumes about the situation. Further, with the moves that Chelsea has already made in the window, it is unlikely that Manchester United would want to have anything to do with further strengthening the Blues.
Of course, one should not rule out a Rooney move to Stamford Bridge, as Rooney could decide to burn bridges and force his way out. However, the smart money should be on Wayne Rooney staying at Old Trafford through the summer, just as he did in 2010.