Wayne's world might still start and end at Old Trafford

14May 2013

England - Premier League

 

Wayne Rooney's demand to leave Manchester United has grabbed the morning headlines but Ralph Ellis says getting away from Old Trafford might not be so simple.

 

If there was an award for analyst of the season it would go to Gary Neville. Incisive on Sky, using all the gadgets and gizmos to a purpose, he constantly gets to the  heart of what's gone right and wrong for any given player or team.

 

So it probably shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that it was Neville who nailed in one sentence of just seven words the central issue surrounding Wayne  Rooney's transfer request. "He's 27 and there's nowhere to go," he said.

 

And that's about it. As Carlos Tevez discovered a year ago, it's all very well saying you want to leave a massive club, but finding another one to go to isn't so  simple. Rooney's contract is said to be worth some £250,000 a week and in the age of Financial Fair Play there aren't too many who can match that, never mind give him  the rise that his agent Paul Stretford would no doubt try to negotiate for him.

 

Falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, for a second time, has made many people assume that England's star player will automatically be gone. The price for the No option  in Betfair's Rooney to Stay market is as low as 1.76. But as Sir Alex himself said, it will no longer be his decision. And then you come back to the key question: Where can he go?

 

Across Europe he could move to maybe Real Madrid or Barcelona, perhaps to Bayern Munich, maybe to Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. Paris St Germain might be a possibility,  but then the French Government are still talking about a 75 per cent income tax rate so that means he'd have to earn £375,000 a week just to stand still.

 

Then there's Chelsea. The word is that Jose Mourinho would like to bring Rooney into the team as his first signing. At half the price of Fernando Torres he'd be a  bargain. You could see him feeding eagerly off the creative supply from Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. But then the problems begin.

 

The money they will make out of this week's appearance in the Europa League final is peanuts compared to what was earned last season out of winning the Champions  League. They have spent £43million on six players in the current financial year and would have lost £22million the year before but for a smart accounting trick writing  off the value of some BSKyB shares. Buying out Mourinho from his Real Madrid contract could cost up to £17million. So how could spending £25million and a bucketful of  wages on Rooney meet UEFA's new Financial Fair Play rules?

 

And even if Roman Abramovich can afford lawyers and accountants cute enough to swerve that problem, there's another hurdle:  Why would United sell to one of the  handful of clubs who could realistically challenge them for the title? At the end of the Fergie era they need to keep as smooth a transition as possible, to give David  Moyes the very best chance to win his own first Premier League so that the Old Trafford dominance remains unbroken.

 

Rooney is being encouraged to go away with England, enjoy playing in friendlies against Ireland and Brazil, have a holiday, and rethink his future. He'll meet Gary  Neville and natter with him during that time. If he listens he might just see sense before Moyes even has to talk to him.

 

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Keywords: Old Trafford, Rooney, leave, Manchester United

Source: Betfair

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