Wayne Rooney Needs to Publicly Address His Future

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Manchester United and England player Wayne Rooney watches from ringside during the Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler Super Middleweight Unification bout at the O2 Arena on May 25, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

It's time for Wayne Rooney to either take his final step in pushing a move away from Manchester United or declare his desire to stay. It's time for Rooney to publicly declare his intentions. 

We've heard plenty of speculation over Rooney's future, with the latest rumour from The Guardian's Jamie Jackson suggesting he'll shortly lodge a formal transfer request. It seems unlikely that he desires to remain. If he does, why wouldn't he have already made a statement announcing his intent to stay?

On the other hand, it seems just as unlikely that United will sell him to a team like Chelsea—a main rival to Manchester United'stheir title defense.

If Rooney wants to engineer that move, he's not going to do it by leaking his intentions through the media. He'll have to put pressure on United by publicly announcing he wants out. 

This is the summer for United to sell Rooney. At 27 years old, he'll still bring back a hefty transfer sum. And the last thing the team wants is to go into next seasonthe last of Rooney's current contractwith no resolution. 

At that point, Rooney could simply play out his contract and United could lose him on a free transfer. That's not good business for a player of Rooney's worth and it would give him much, much more leverage than he has this summer.

Yes, announcing he wants to leave will burn all bridges with the United faithful. And it would cut somewhat into United's leverage on the market, as a player who vocally announces his intent to leave is never quite as valuable as one who would be fine with staying.

That would annoy the Red Devils, if nothing else.

But it would virtually guarantee his sale. It would give United the ability to paint Rooney as the villain to the fans and ensure that, the longer Rooney stuck around the club, the more of a distraction and issue it would become. 

Nothing is a bigger thorn in the side of a club than an unhappy superstar. 

It's safe to say that everyone—Rooney, Manchester United, Red Devils fans, people who get paid to write about soccer—want some resolution to this never-ending saga. Rooney has the power, one way or another, to provide it. 

With one statement, he can either declare his intent to stay or his desire to leave. It's time he publicly did so.