Manchester United are a club in transition after Sir Alex Ferguson’s revelation that he will step down from his role as the club’s manager after 26 years at the helm. With David Moyes seemingly the favourite to replace him, and Jose Mourinho in the running too, the new head coach’s first job may well be to convince star striker Wayne Rooney that his future lies at Old Trafford.
The England international has not had one of his better seasons in 2012-13, with Robin van Persie seemingly the main man in attack for the newly crowned Premier League champions.
Wayne Rooney was dropped for United’s crucial Champions League second leg clash with Real Madrid, and despite once potentially being the first name on a Red Devils’ team sheet, is no longer guaranteed a starting berth in the team.
United have a wealth of riches in attack with RVP, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa also in contention for a starting place. It has been reported that Rooney has revealed to outgoing boss Ferguson that he wants to leave when the transfer window opens, but that United have told him that he is not for sale.
The Premier League champions are thought to be reluctant to sell the forward to a domestic rival, and he has two years left on his current deal. So, where will Wayne Rooney play his football next term?
Rooney has been linked in the media this year with a spectacular switch to Barcelona. The Catalan giants are in a phase of rebuilding after their seemingly diminished power on the continent, with the Camp Nou outfit admitting that a busy summer in the transfer window is likely.
Wayne Rooney is undoubtedly one of England’s most technically gifted players, however whether he would be able to fit into Barca’s tiki-taka system remains to be seen. Most of Barcelona’s players are developed through La Masia, and Rooney’s move to Catalunya would take some adjustment on his part.
A large transfer fee may be an issue for the Spaniards, however Rooney would help to take some of the club’s current goal-scoring dependence on Lionel Messi.
The French capital city side have come on leaps and bounds over the last 18 months, with investors coming in from Qatar and turning PSG from a run of the mill Ligue 1 side to a European contender.
The big-name signings of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva raised more than a few eyebrows last summer, and Le Parisiens will be out to add more top players this summer.
Wayne Rooney’s considerable wages will be an issue to any potential move, however PSG are one of the few clubs in the world game that could meet his reported £200,000+ per week salary. Carlo Ancelotti’s men would see Rooney’s addition as a major coup, but whether the forward would be willing to move to France is another question.
The rising force of European football, Bayern Munich are in line for a momentous treble this term and have looked all but unbeatable. With Pep Guardiola and Mario Gotze both heading for the Allianz Arena this summer, Die Roten look certain to be in the running for every competition they enter for the considerable future.
The Bundesliga giants would be able to afford the Englishman’s transfer fee; wages would potentially be a problem. Guardiola’s 4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3 formation at Barcelona is similar to the one that Bayern currently adopt, and where Rooney would fit into this is questionable.
With a supreme squad of attacking talent, whether Bayern actually need Wayne Rooney is a key point.
With two years left on his current deal, if Manchester United decide that Rooney is going nowhere, he won’t be. Sir Alex has an ominous record of getting rid of players from Old Trafford when he wants, but in this case the Scottish boss’ influence could be telling in keeping Rooney in England.
If Moyes does take over at the Premier League champions it could be the incentive to keep Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. Not only did Moyes give the attacker his professional debut at Everton, but a new manager would be a fresh start for Rooney.
A new, deeper role could also be in the pipeline for one of England’s most talented players of this generation.