Wayne Rooney has endured a tumultuous past few years at Manchester United.
While the forward remains on the brink of becoming the club’s all time top scorer, the goals and game time have dried up. Moreover, even the chopping and changing of managers hasn’t seemed to spark a Rooney revival.
Consequently, rumours of a departure for the skipper are beginning to accelerate and one club in particular could be willing to spend £80 million. It’s clear that not everyone thinks Rooney is past his best.
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The club in question is Shanghai SIPG. What makes the link interesting is the fact the side are under the management of ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Rooney played under the Swede with the Three Lions and Eriksson even handed him his first cap in 2003.
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Moreover, according to the Mirror, the pair could be reunited in the Far East if Rooney is tempted by the deal on the table.
However, this wouldn’t be the first time SIPG have made a move for the 30-year-old. The Chinese Super League team offered a £500,000-a-week contract just ten months ago.
Nevertheless, Rooney turned the deal down in light of desires to resurrect his United and England careers despite lengthly discussions. With even the arrival of Mourinho not aiding such an ambition though, a Chinese switch may prove pivotally more desirable now.
The owners of the club are, consequently, monitoring the situation and if they feel that it’s appropriate, will make a second approach.
Given the money potentially on offer and the degree of Rooney’s fall, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if he was at least heavily tempted.
Despite being club captain, the 30-year-old has only started one of Manchester United’s past five games. Moreover, that solo start came in the Europa League in a clash that still saw a redeeming performance as a well as a goal evade him.
Rooney has scored just two leagues for the Red Devils in the past eight months and just one from open play for England in the same time frame. He may have dropped deeper, but even Marouane Fellaini has outscored him since February.
The forward also faces uncertainty over his international career with a nondescript performance against Malta later prompting Gareth Southgate to drop his own captain.
It all adds up to a rather concerning outlook for Rooney and China may be the escape he needs. Every week comes another round of criticism for the once beloved forward and it’s clearly taking its toll.
The 30-year-old may have an understandable affinity with Old Trafford, but £500,000-a-week will go a long to ease the homesickness.
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