Updates from Thursday, Jan. 2
In the worst-case scenario, United are happy they can absorb the financial blow of failing to qualify for the Champions League. Whether Rooney would be satisfied outside Europe’s elite at this stage of his career is another matter altogether.
The 28-year-old will shortly enter the final 12 months of his contract at Old Trafford and so far his representatives have shown little appetite to accept United’s invitation to step up negotiations over a new one.
It is understood Rooney would prefer to put off any decision until after the World Cup before committing to what will almost certainly be the last major deal of his career. He wants to see where United finish and what new signings they have lined up after a frustrating transfer window last summer when the club’s lack of pulling power was exposed by a failure to land a series of top targets.