Wayne Rooney says he wanted to leave Man United for Barcelona in 2010

Wayne Rooney wanted to join Barcelona in 2010

Back in 2010, Wayne Rooney came close to leaving Manchester United.

England's record goal scorer handed in a transfer request after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson and Europe's elite were queuing up to secure his signature.

In the end, Rooney ended up signing a new long-term deal at United and remained with the Red Devils up until 2017.

But during that tumultuous period in 2010, the now 35-year-old was very close to leaving United and Rooney has now confirmed the three clubs he was interested in joining.

Derby County's interim manager has also revealed that Barcelona were the team he wanted to join most and had his wish been granted, it would have been one of the most sensational transfers in football history.

Rooney during the 2011 CL final

"I think it was well documented that Chelsea and Mourinho wanted to sign me," Rooney said on the UTD Podcast.

"There was Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Man City thing keeps cropping up, but there was never the option for me to go there. Although there were rumours on that as well, but the other three, really, were more realistic options.

"In my head, at the time, in that two-day period, I was ready to go and play in Spain. Ideally, I would have liked to have gone to Barcelona, but it was looking more likely to be Real Madrid than Barcelona. Chelsea were always there as well."

When asked to name the club he wanted to join, Rooney replied: "I think, at the time, I was looking at clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. To be honest, it was two or three days where there was communication between myself and them, or my representatives and team.

Rooney & Messi during the 2009 CL final

"I remember sitting down for one day and thinking 'imagine playing in that Barcelona team – Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets'. And at that time Messi wasn’t playing the way he plays now, as a no.9 for instance. He was out wide.

"I was thinking I could have slotted in perfectly. I could have come to the ball as well and have players running in behind."

Rooney leading the line for Pep Guardiola's Barcelona? It would have been quite something.

In the end, the Englishman had to watch on as Messi, Xavi and Iniesta brushed United aside to win the 2011 Champions League final. Oh what could have been, Wayne...

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