On a memorable day at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson lifted his 13th Premier League title, the outgoing manager formally confirmed the speculations that Wayne Rooney have asked to leave the club as he revealed the England international was dropped out of the squad to play Swansea because of his request.
With Rooney and family (including son Kai) in hand to take a few shots with the trophy and celebrate their beloved 5th title with the Red Devils, the likelihood of the striker lining up for David Moyes’ side next season offers a glimmer of hope, with Chelsea and Paris St Germain ready to pounce on the £25 million- rated striker.
Ferguson confirmed Rooney, who had scored 16 goals for United so far played no part because he had asked to leave the club, but stressed United were unwilling to let him go in the summer.
“I don’t think Wayne was kin to play simply because he’s asked for a transfer,” the Scot said. “I think he wants to think things through in his mind; I think that’s a good idea.
“We’re not going to let him go. I think he’s maybe a bit frustrated that he’s been taken off once or twice in the last few weeks.
“We’ve refused (the transfer request) – he needs to go away and think about it,” Ferguson added.
Rooney have had to endure a relatively dull season as he had played behind top scorer Robin van Persie and on few occasions denied a starting role for teenage prowess Danny Welbeck. A good example was the Champions League second round game against Real Madrid when the striker was made to sit on the bench, a decision that did not go down well with the 27- year- old. And sometimes when he starts a game, he is either playing deep in the midfield or withdrawn early as a substitute.
Such treatment has made the England forward seek for a fresh start with Chelsea and Paris St Germain his possible destination. In all fairness, the striker remains ‘one of the outstanding talents’ in England, which makes it difficult for him to just hang around and play second fiddle to his teammate (Van Persie). And also justifies the club’s unwillingness to let him leave this summer.
That been said, David Moyes will have to sit Rooney
down and straighten out his plan for the striker for the next season, at least make him realise how important he is to the team, on assumption of his newly- assigned role.
The new manager was instrumental to Rooney’s emergence as one of Premier League’s dreaded attackers and could extend the relationship by saving him the less- fancied exit.
During the prize- giving ceremony on Sunday, Rooney collected his title- winner’s medal amidst mixed reactions from the crowd as the announcement of his name over the PA met a number of jeers inside Old Trafford.
He also got a pat on the back from his outgoing boss- but the pair did not embrace in the manner that Ferguson reserved for many other members of his squad. That translates to United’s disinterest to allow Rooney leave.
As the League gets to its final day, we expect more twists and turns. Like Rooney’s former teammate Gary Neville said: “In a couple of weeks he will be coming away with England. Then he needs to have the summer off and hopefully get his head back to being a Manchester United player.”
However, Rooney was right to opt for a fresh start. After all, a winner takes all and is second to none. Rooney could be winning a double- facet fight if any of the clubs lining up for his services offers a deal beyond his current £250,000- a- week contract at Old Trafford, since United aren’t considering offering the striker a new deal this summer. Far from portraying the striker as a gold- digger; Rooney is a nice guy. But you cannot be nice to the point of being denied your right, which justifies his course as well. Assure him of his rightful place in the team and- like he had done in recent times- you watch him do the turn around.
One way or another, someone has to give way. And hope it’s not Rooney heading for the exit as Moyes wishes to seal his name among the best managers the English Premier League has had to offer.