A fortnight ago, Wayne Rooney told Sir Alex Ferguson that he wanted to leave the Manchester United. His request was denied, but with Ferguson’s imminent departure, here are five reasons why the club might consider selling the 27 year-old.
1. Value and return
The Guardian reported that a “well-placed source” has Rooney valued at £40 million. The club are interested in bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back from Real Madrid and a price tag like this could be used to engineer a swap deal. Failing that, such an enormous amount of money could be put towards luring Gareth Bale away from Tottenham Hotspur – chairman Daniel Levy would be hard-pressed to ignore such an offer.
2. A fresh start for Rooney…
Rooney’s apparent desire to seek pastures new will likely be intensified by the arrival of a manager for whom he has already played and experienced a chequered history. The emerging dominance of Bayern Munich may be an attractive prospect, as would the wages on offer at Paris St Germain. Whatever his destination, he may like the idea of reestablishing himself an attacking force which he was unable to do in the shadow of Robin Van Persie.
3. …and for David Moyes
Moyes’s first task when he takes over at United will be to decide how to deal with Rooney. There is a well-documented history between the pair – Moyes won a court case against the striker in 2008 after Rooney accused the Scot of leaking a confidentional conversation between the two. The matter has since been settled but Moyes might prefer start the most scrutinised job in professional without the potential for immediate friction.
4. Squad harmony
“If one player in the team does not trust the others he should not be in the team.” So said Patrice Evra after Rooney first wanted to leave United in 2010, citing what he saw as the club’s lack of ambition. Rooney was dissuaded from doing so by the combination of a lucrative new contract and balaclava-clad United supporters outside his home, but any resentment Rooney created in the changing room three years ago will have come back to the surface.
5. Honouring Ferguson’s legacy
If there was a particular philosophy that defined Sir Alex Ferguson’s 27-year tenure it was that no player was bigger than the club. The list is exhaustive – Mark Hughes, Paul Ince, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Roy Keane were all sacrificed for what Ferguson saw as the greater good. Rooney, it could be argued, has been afforded more leniency in that respect – perhaps Ferguson was willing to believe that his player had been led astray by his agent, Paul Stretford – but the club have appointed Moyes for his penchant for long-term thinking and starting with a disgruntled forward hardly matches that mindset.