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United running out of time over signing

Wayne RooneyIn just over three and half weeks Manchester United will begin the defence of their Premier League away at Swansea but whether they’ll do so with Wayne Rooney in their ranks is still very much up for debate.

The United striker seemed poised to join Chelsea, but everything has gone rather quiet over the last couple of days, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho too busy taunting Manchester City to concentrate on finalising a deal for the England international who, at least according to David Moyes, is expected to travel with the squad to Stockholm when United return to Europe.

Rooney, however, could still leave the club and should his dream move to Chelsea fail to materialise, the 27-year-old will consider moving to another area of the capital, to Arsenal to be precise. The Daily Mail claims that while Rooney dreams of playing under Jose Mourinho, he also respects Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and United would rather see their striker move to the Emirates than to the south west of the capital.

Arsenal have already stated that they’re ready to met Rooney’s £240,000-a-week salary, with Arsene Wenger’s “war chest” still virtually untouched.

Wayne Rooney will indeed leave Old Trafford, claims the Daily Star, but only after United have completed the signing of Cesc Fabregas. The tabloid claims that United have told Chelsea to hold off their second bid until United have secured Fabregas, which, as things stands might be a couple of centuries away.

While the logic of United wanting to secure a top signing before leaving Rooney to depart makes perfect sense, the chances of Fabregas lining up alongside his former Arsenal team-mate Robin Van Persie next year have grown increasingly slimmer over the last couple of days, particularly after Barcelona wrote to United stating that the player is part of their plans for the future.

Meanwhile, United might be running out of time to sign one of their targets this summer. The Sun reports that Marouane Fellaini’s £22m release clause will expire on July 31, meaning that Everton will then be free to rise the Belgian’s price from the beginning of next month.

With Moyes desperately chasing Cesc Fabregas, the tabloid asks the rather pertinent question of whether should the United manager focus on Fellaini – a more realistic target – rather than wasting his time in trying to convince Barcelona to part ways with the former Arsenal captain.

Gareth Bale might be on his way to Real Madrid, at least according to the majority of newspapers, but the Mail bizarrely claims that last season’s Player of the Year could still join Manchester United. The Spanish giants are expected to fork out around £80m for the Welshman, yet the Mail is convinced that, despite the staggering fee and despite Daniel Levy’s stubborn refusal to sell his prize asset to any of Spurs’ direct rivals, Bale could still be lured to Old Trafford.

The bomb-proof logic behind such claims? Well, Real Madrid don’t really need Bale, United can’t waste time chasing Fabregas forever and the Glazers are keen to please the fans with a marquee signing, and who better than the Welshman? A rather appealing prospect, it has to be said, but also a wonderful example of straw-clutching.

Elsewhere, Phil Jones has told the Guardian he’s not concerned by the lack of signings. “The new season [will be] interesting. Teams have got new managers, I’m sure if we’re anywhere near what we were at the start of last season then we’ll be fine,” said Jones who also dismissed theories according to which his versatility could hamper his progress: “I don’t see it as a hindrance at the moment – perhaps later in my career, possibly, but not for now.”