One thing is for sure – Wayne Rooney would like to leave Manchester United. Maybe it’s the way he was treated this season, the departure of Alex Ferguson or the arrival, specifically, of David Moyes. The other details aren’t so clear, like if Arsenal are really serious about pursuing one of the highest paid footballers on the planet.
Because everything Arsene Wenger has been about for all these years suggests that this is not the kind of player he likes to take on. Rooney is already 27 years old, and will cost north of £20 million to bring over from Old Trafford, while his salary is around £250,000 a week. It’ rare for a club like Arsenal to play even half those wages. And yet maybe this season or the last two, of Arsenal securing Champions League qualification in the last minute will change the way the team approach the transfer market and the club’s famous wage structure.
Footballers aren’t known to be very generous in giving up salary demands in order to earn themselves a place on a team they want to play for. Not when it’s this kind of money. United do have potential offers from PSG and Monaco, while some suggest that Bayern Munich are also interested in the player if he becomes available. Rooney would prefer to stay in England, and Arsenal might be team that gives him that option, even if it means taking a pay cut.
It’s hard to understand how a player who scored 17 goals last season can be considered a failure, but it seems to most Rooney was only effective for around 2-3 months, following a disappointing start and a very lazy finish to the season, in which he looked like someone who has no passion or desire to be on the pitch, at least not for his current club. But Manchester United aren’t in the business of selling him at the moment, unless they start seeing figures they like.
If Arsene Wenger does try and sign Rooney, it’ll show a hypocritical side to him, but one that has been forced out by the club’s failures over the last few seasons. All the pretentious speeches about building and financial security don’t fly with fans too much. Wenger and Arsenal need a big signing, because even the clubs they’re competing with for that final Champions League spot aren’t going to stay “sane” forever, least of all Tottenham. Rooney does sound like a long shot right now, but you never know what disappointment and a lot of unused money does to a manager.