The wantaway forward continues to court the attention of Chelsea, who saw a second bid rejected on Monday, and the disruption to United’s preseason preparations is beginning to anger some of the club’s veterans. Maddock and Nixon provide the details:
Sources close to the Old Trafford club have explained there is an increasing antagonism towards the England striker, with senior players “unhappy” at his stance, which they see as a blatant attempt to strengthen his own position without any regard for the unsettling effect it is having on the team.
Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra are all named by the Daily Mirror article, while Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star also claims United stars are becoming increasingly unimpressed with Rooney’s behaviour, which is threatening to overshadow Ferdinand’s forthcoming testimonial on August 9.
Rooney’s desire to quit Old Trafford was initially revealed (h/t BBC Sport) at the back end of last season by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and Jose Mourinho has since confirmed he wants the England man at Chelsea.
Via Bloomberg, the tabled fee reached £25 million on Monday but United plan to make the transfer as difficult as possible for Chelsea, who are widely viewed as a major threat to their Premier League crown this season.
According to Jim Daly of the Daily Mirror, a United spokesman addressed Chelsea’s offer: “A bid was received yesterday [Sunday] and immediately rejected. Our position remains that he is not for sale.”
Rooney was pulled from United’s trip to Stockholm for Tuesday’s friendly against AIK, with the club citing a minor shoulder injury.
Certainly the injury comes with much convenience as United look to focus on the start of their Premier League title defence while maintaining harmony in their camp.
The ideal scenario for boss David Moyes at this stage—with Rooney’s situation deemed irreparable—would be to sell the 27-year-old to a foreign club.
However, Chelsea are currently the only suitors, which leaves United with a juggling act.
On one hand Moyes will want to delay Rooney’s transfer to disrupt the Blues’ plans heading into the new campaign, but at some stage United will need to allow themselves enough time to reinvest the money from the transfer.
And with Rooney now cut off from his teammates, the player’s stock will only fall.