In a week in which Manchester United progressed to the last 16 stage of the Europa League, advanced into the quarter finals of the FA Cup and a weekend Wembley date against Southampton to look forwards to, it was a welcome bonus that captain and record breaking goalscorer (I’m sorry Sir Bobby but those two goals in the Anglo-Italian cup are not recognised here) Wayne Rooney, had decided to end the recent speculation on his future and stay at United.
Interest from China had intensified over recent weeks and with the Chinese Super League throwing money around like confetti, it was no real surprise that the England captain was being pursued by potential suitors.
Reports from certain media outlets had mentioned that Rooney was going to be offered a king’s ransom in wages and, depending on what you read, was about to be made the highest paid player on the planet! Fortunately for Manchester United, Rooney has decided to stay and try to help the team in their bid for league and cup success.
A statement from Rooney said, “Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I’m grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United. I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts. It’s an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it.”
In a career which has seen Rooney rack up an impressive 250 goals for the Red Devils, it would be a challenge if the forward did decide to pack his bags in the summer and move on to pastures new. The fairytale would be a return to boyhood club Everton. Logistically it would make sense. No need to move house, kids settled at schools etc, but in the twilight of his glittering career, in which Rooney had won every trophy at club level except UEFA Cup/Europa League (include Europa League if reading this victorious in May!) maybe a move to foreign shores would really be too good to turn down?
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has suggested that Rooney will depart in the summer. “If it carries on going the way it is, I can’t (see him staying). Maybe it will be reassessed at the end of the season if he’s in and out of the team. I don’t see him as a player who will accept that. He will want to be at a team where he’s playing every week. No one will be more frustrated than Wayne at not playing. Being a sub will be driving him up the wall. It will be killing him just coming in for the Europa League or the FA Cup. But it’s up to him to get his head down and prove he can play in the big games.”
Rooney will always be considered a club legend by United fans. His overhead kick in the derby against City his most memorable goal, and yet even after breaking both club and country goalscoring records, divides opinion amongst rival supporters. Manchester United loves you Wayne, let’s hope for a few more before you bring the red curtain down on this chapter of your life.