After 12 years as one of the club's biggest stars, Wayne Rooney's Manchester United future is looking increasingly bleak.
The Red Devils captain began the season in underwhelming form and, amidst struggles for the team as a whole, he was benched by new boss Jose Mourinho.
A fresh injury issue kept him out of the United squad entirely for their humbling 4-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. Now, according to a report from The Sun, the veteran forward has had his Old Trafford future spelt out to him by his manager.
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Per Neil Curtis, Mourinho has made it clear to Rooney and his representatives in recent days that the 31-year-old will have to move on from United if he wishes to play on a regular basis.
The report reads:
"The Manchester United boss has informed Rooney’s advisers that he simply cannot guarantee him a starting place any longer.
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"While he is not actively looking to sell him he does not want to keep Rooney’s camp in the dark about his future plans."
Having turned 31 this week and looked a shadow of his former free-scoring self so far this season, Rooney's days as the first name on the United team sheet appear to be well and truly numbered.
And, now that Mourinho has made it clear that his recent four-game spell on the bench could be the norm and not just a blip in his stellar career to date, it will be interesting to see how the England captain reacts.
With Rooney's current contract not set to expire until 2019, there is the possibility that the forward would be happy to adjust to a bit-part role at the club whilst Mourinho is in charge.
When you consider he is on a £300,000-per-week contract, he might also struggle to find a high-profile club willing to match his wages for the remainder of his playing days.
Having said that, reports earlier this week revealed Rooney could be offered a bumper £500,000-per-week contract to play in the Chinese Super League.
And Rooney doesn't seem like the type of player who will be happy coming off the bench or starting the odd game in three after being a first-team regular since the age of 16.
As such, you wouldn't put it past the veteran to have already started putting out feelers for potential moves that will give him the regular first-team football he clearly still craves.
Whether he can find that at a level - or league - he is happy competing in could well decide whether or not he stays at Old Trafford beyond the end of the current campaign.
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