Mr Popular: Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand with three-week-old Bailey Borthwick. Photo: Sahlan HayesManchester United might be on the cusp of losing Wayne Rooney but two of the club’s greatest strikers, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, are desperate for Rooney to stay.
While the Red Devils are in Sydney preparing for their clash with the A-League All Stars, the thoughts of all are on events on the other side of the world. Of course, Rooney was meant to be here for Saturday night’s clash at ANZ Stadium, the showpiece attraction of the world’s biggest sporting club.
Instead, he is at home in England, nursing a hamstring strain – or so the club claims – and wondering where his future lies. By the time the match kicks off, Rooney might well have told United that he wants to continue his career elsewhere. It’s thought Chelsea and Arsenal are willing to make offers of about $50 million for his signature.
The Daily Mail, the domestic Press Association news agency and Sky Sports News television said that the league champions had turned down an offer from Chelsea, without quoting sources.
Rooney was reported to be ”angry and confused” at the statements of new United manager David Moyes, who recently said the England striker would be a back-up option for Robin van Persie.
”Overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him,” Moyes said. ”I want as many options as possible.”
Moyes made the comments despite also claiming Rooney was ”not for sale” and ”had a major role to play” in United’s season.
But it now seems the 27-year-old is headed for the exit door, putting a cloud over United’s preparations not only for their match against the All-Stars, but the club’s hopes of back-to-back league titles. Cole and Yorke told Fairfax Media it would be a huge loss if Rooney were to quit the club.
”I’d love him to stay – and I think everyone wants him to stay,” Cole said. ”But now we’re going to get asked this question again and again until it’s resolved. Wayne is a fantastic player, and we’re all hoping he stays. Every Manchester United supporter hopes he’ll be at Old Trafford next season.”
Cole left the club for Blackburn in 2001 when first-team opportunities began to dry up, and knows what it’s like away from the brightest lights of all. ”Whether he’d regret it or not, well, the only person who can answer that is him,” Cole said. ”He’ll answer that in time. I can only talk from my experience and what it was like from when I left, but Wayne needs to think about it and make the right decision.”
Despite the rising swell of talk about a transfer away, Yorke reckons Rooney will see out his contract under Moyes. ”There’s nothing to feel bad about – except that he’s not here in Australia and had to go home and get treatment for his injury,” he said. ”We all know the speculation, we all know the talk, and that’s what happens when you’re a big player. But I believe he’ll be a Manchester United player for the next two years.” However, while Yorke left United after a bitter split, he reckons it’s a different case with Rooney. ”Everyone’s circumstances are different, and it affects different players differently. My situation was totally different to Wayne’s,” he said. ”He’s still a young man, he’s 27 and is coming to the peak of his career. Why would he want to ply his trade anywhere but the best club in the world?”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.