Where Next for Want-away Wayne?

Photo: Ryu Voelkel

Europe’s top clubs are on red alert following Sir Alex Ferguson’s revelations about Wayne Rooney’s desire to quit Manchester United.

Ferguson cut a forlorn figure when he addressed the media yesterday at his Champions’ League pre-match press conference. His disappointment was highlighted by the way he seemed to suggest Rooney had disrespected the football club and its fans. He said how Rooney indicated, via his agent Paul Stretford, that he wanted out of the club on August 14th, the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Despite Rooney’s poor displays so far this season, most of Europe’s elite clubs are said to be interested in the striker, who will be available to leave in the January transfer window.

Perhaps surprisingly, United’s arch rivals Manchester City are among the favourites to capture his signature, potentially delivering a fatal blow to Manchester United’s title hopes for this season. City boss Roberto Mancini has so far denied interest, yet his club is the bookmakers’ favourites to sign him.

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has also declared an interest in Rooney, yet expects him to stay put at United.

He probably wants to leave for some reasons, but I believe he belongs to Man Utd, he belongs to Man Utd fans, he belongs to Old Trafford… But if at the end of the day Man Utd decides that he is to leave, give me a call.

Mourinho’s sentiments are echoed by those of his Barcelona counterpart, Pep Guardiola, who declared that Rooney is a player that he admires very much. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp also intimated he’d like to sign Rooney, however all but ruled his club out of the race for financial reasons.

The news of Wayne Rooney’s “betrayal” of Sir Alex and the club have sent shockwaves around the football world. Rooney is one of Manchester United’s leading stars, who had recently stated his intention to see out his career at Old Trafford. It has caused fans and pundits alike to query why he would make such a decision.

The Glazer Family’s reign as United Owners has been suggested as a possibility, with financial cutbacks and a supposed lack of ambition at board level being a key factor. Others have suggested that wages and fees for the player and agent may be the contentious issue.

Despite his reasons being unclear, if Rooney does indeed decide to move away from Old Trafford, he’d have a long list of potential suitors queuing to take him on.