After such a decorated career at Manchester United, Wayne Rooney now appears to be at a crossroads. Having won 16 trophies at United, including five Premier League titles and one Champions League, Rooney seems to be no longer a part of Jose Mourinho’s plans.
Despite breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal scoring record for both club and country, the 31 year old made just 22 starts last season and could eye a move away from Manchester United to ensure regular first team football. For Rooney, regaining his first team place at domestic club level will be essential for holding the England captaincy at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Manchester United legend is reported to have stated:
“There are lots of offers on the table, both in England and abroad, and that’s what I have to decide on”
Wayne Rooney, June 2017
alongside that he has “more or less” made up his mind on his future. After the explosive emergence of Marcus Rashford, and the seemingly imminent arrival of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, Wayne Rooney’s days at Old Trafford appear to be numbered.
Rooney reportedly rejected a move to China in January, but a move to the Far-East cannot be ruled out just yet. With Chinese clubs offering some eye-wateringly huge salaries to the likes of Tevez, Oscar and Lavezzi, Rooney would have no problem having his wage demands matched and there is no question that he would be the first name on the team sheet at whichever Chinese club he would sign for.
Another possibility is to follow the footsteps of other previous English, Premier League legends such as Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard by moving to the MLS. However, England manager Gareth Southgate has attempted to warn Wayne away from a move to either China or the MLS, as it is imperative for him to test himself against the very best and continue to play at the highest-level week in week out.
Finally, and most romantically, a return to Rooney’s boyhood club Everton still remains a distinct possibility. Everton manager Ronald Koeman has welcomed the idea of Rooney returning to the blue half of Merseyside; “I believe that Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level” said Koeman shortly before adding “Every player that we at Everton think can make the team stronger is welcome to Everton”. Koeman’s side remains the bookies favourite for Rooney’s next and potentially final destination.
Wayne is still very fond of the Toffees, and admitted that Everton and Manchester United are the only Premier League teams he could play for. And whilst Everton continue to show remarkable signs of ambition early on in this transfer window, an emotional return for their boy wonder may just be on the cards for Mr Rooney.
Written by Lukas Jennings.