The saga surrounding Wayne Rooney might have finally, and mercifully, reached its final chapter as Manchester United have told Chelsea the England is not for sale at any price, never has been and never will be.
Rooney’s feud with United, which began as he was left out of the starting XI for United’s clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League last season, has become increasingly acrimonious over the last couple of months, with the striker more or less blatantly agitating for a move away from Old Trafford, however without submitting a formal transfer request.
Jose Mourinho identified Rooney as Chelsea’s number one priority this summer, but the Portuguese manager, who had two offers of £23m and £25m both turned down, will have to do without the 27-year-old, at least according to the latest reports that have emerged tonight and that stress United’s intent not to sell at any price.
According to Daniel Taylor, latest piece on the Guardian: “The Glazer family is absolutely determined there will be a show of force at Old Trafford this summer and that means automatically rejecting any further Chelsea bid out of principle. United believe it would be weak in the extreme to bend to player power, no matter how messy it threatens to become before the end of the transfer window, and their position will not change if Rooney hands in a formal transfer request or goes public with his desire to leave. The forward,who is in contention to lead England’s attack against Scotland at Wembley on Wednesday, will be told United still cherish him as a player and that he needs to think long and hard about clearing his mind and rediscovering his best form in a World Cup year.
“Over the next couple of weeks there will be a public request from David Moyes that United’s supporters recognise his contribution to the club over the last nine years and refrain from making their displeasure known when he returns to the team. Rooney’s determination to move to Stamford Bridge, having handed in a transfer request in October 2010 amid strong interest behind the scenes from Manchester City, has turned many fans against him. The hope at Old Trafford is that it will eventually blow over and that Rooney will come to realise his falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson should have no bearing now.
“It represents a calculated gamble on United’s part, with the club acutely aware Rooney no longer wants to be at Old Trafford and that Moyes will have his work cut out to get him back to his best.”
United had reiterated their desire to keep Rooney and while their decision not to sell to a direct rival is perfectly understandable, particularly considering the lack of signings United fans have had to deal with this summer, one has to wonder whether Rooney will show any intent of returning to his best while playing for a club he clearly has no intention to be at.
On the other hand, the England striker knows that he can’t afford to endure a lacklustre campaign as the 2014 World Cup looms large on the horizon and Rooney will be desperate to lead England front line in Brazil next summer.
United’s decision is a bold and, in many ways, unexpected one and leaves a lot fans in a sort of limbo – support the man who’s tried to engineer a move away from the club twice in less than three years or showing him all the resentment and scorn the United number 10 has attracted upon himself in recent months?
One thing is for sure, Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford in just over two weeks is going to be entertaining.
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