The January transfer window is about to close and once again, the media is awash with reports that Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is set to depart for China in a massive money deal this summer.
The Manchester United captain has been the subject of much speculation this term following a protracted run of poor form and the arrival of big names such as Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
In recent months Rooney appears to have found his place within Jose Mourinho’s side, becoming a midfield provider and general work horse for the team. He has also finally surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton’s long standing all-time scoring record for United and cemented himself as one of the club’s greats.
All the while, however, rumours of a big money move to China have persisted. Becoming more common with each passing month, the temptation of household names in Europe with insanely large salaries has seen the likes of former United and Manchester City star Carlos Teves and Chelsea’s Oscar make the big switch to the far east.
According to reports, Wayne Rooney is to be next. The Sunday Mirror claim that offers in the region of an incredible £140 million are ready to be tabled for the 31-year-old.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star have reported that Rooney’s wife, Coleen, has given the green light to her husband for the £900,000-per-week move.
On Monday the Telegraph revealed that United have ruled out a January transfer for Rooney as they cannot replace their experienced captain until the summer, despite reports from the Manchester Evening News that Mourinho has already approved his departure.
In the new world of ‘alternative facts’, sifting through all these reports to find the truth is a tricky task. It must be assumed that there is some element of truth in the rumours of an offer to move away from Old Trafford, however.
Rooney himself has not yet gone on record about his future. With 18 months remaining on his current £300,000-per-week deal, he certainly doesn’t need to rush into any decision.
Having long spoken of his desire to see out the remainder of his career with United and with his growing family, who are settled, happy and close to home, a move to China would be a huge culture shock for all involved.
A potential move to America’s MLS might be an option, however. Geographically more accessible, culturally similar and no language barrier, Rooney could be tempted to follow the likes of David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard west – all moves that proved very successful.
At the end of the day, there is nothing confirmed or set in stone. No official offer from China has been made public at this time. No extension from United has emerged yet either.
Rooney, for his part as club captain, remains focused on United and the job at hand.
Right now, these are the only facts that we do know.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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