PSG, Manchester City, Real Madrid: Which clubs could Wayne Rooney join?
Speculation is mounting that the Manchester United striker's days at Old Trafford are numbered
Wayne Rooney was left out of the starting line-up for Manchester United's Champions League tie against Real Madrid last night, casting doubt over the England striker's future.
While a summer departure is by no means certain, the decision by Sir Alex Ferguson to omit Rooney has led to speculation he will be sold in the summer.
Former England international Michael Owen has said that for a player of Rooney's ability, the options are limited to "only half a dozen teams".
We take a look at the options...
Rooney's infamous transfer request in 2010, a move which has been highlighted as a possible reason Ferguson will be prepared to do away with him, led to the possibility he might move to City which led United to offer him wages of £250,000-a-week. Roberto Mancini is always on the look out for new players and is yet to replace Mario Balotelli who left in January. Part of the appeal of Balotelli to City's owners was the Italian's high profile - Rooney would bring similar attention to the club if he were to cross Manchester.
When Pep Guardiola was manager of Barcelona, the Catalan club were regularly linked with a move for Rooney. The incoming Bayern Munich manager will reportedly be given money to shape his team in the summer and it's possible that could involve reprising his interest in the England international.
The future of David Villa looks uncertain with the Spain international coming close to joining Arsenal in January. La Liga leaders may be after a replacement and Rooney would do the job more than adequately. Recent Barcelona performances have also highlighted the need for a 'Plan B' in the face of a resolute defence - Rooney's power and directness could be the answer.
Can Chelsea wait any longer for £50m signing Fernando Torres to come good? The reigning European champions have never been shy of signing up the best players in the Premier League and Rooney would fit the bill. For a team that crashed out of the Champions League group stages and are in serious danger of missing out on qualification for next year's competition altogether, it looks like it could be another summer of big spending at Stamford Bridge. Rooney once displayed the t-shirt - once a blue, always a blue. He could be again.
The only club that can match Manchester City's spending power is PSG. The Parisian outfit have spent over €200m since they were taken over by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and have proved they can attract the world's best talent - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore, Thiago Silva and er, David Beckham. Could they add Rooney to their stable? Former England striker Owen has claimed the French side are "probably the best shout" if Rooney were to leave Manchester United.
PSG have spent over €200m since they were taken over by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). The new owners immediately signalled their intentions to make the Parisian outfit a European giant by breaking the French transfer record with the €42m acquisition of Javier Pastore from Palermo.
While Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain are top strikers, there has been some questions raised whether they are the players to supplement the Cristiano Ronaldo goal machine. Rooney would fit the bill of a 'Galactico' that they so adore at the Bernabeu and he has a proven relationship with CR7 from the pair's time together at Manchester United.
Perhaps the most unlikely destination among this collection of potential clubs, but it is no secret that Arsene Wenger has a pot full of money to go and spend this summer. Rooney would certainly take a large chunk of it but would be the perfect answer to their attacking problems. Wenger is also a known admirer, famously declaring early on in the Liverpudlian's career: "Rooney is the biggest England talent I've seen since I arrived in England."
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