Wayne Rooney rejected the opportunity to become the latest big name player to join the Chinese football revolution after Super League club Beijing Guoan revealed they made an approach for the Manchester United captain.
According to the Guardian, club officials made contact with Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, in Beijing over a potential move but the England captain wasn’t tempted by the prospect of leaving the Premier League for Asian football.
Former Premier League stars Gervinho, Tim Cahill, Demba Ba and Graziano Pelle have all moved to Super League clubs in recent years as China continues to pump astronomical amounts of money into their national game.
Chinese businessman have also started to expand their influence in football overseas with Southampton currently in takeover talks with Far East firm, Lander Sports Development. West Brom, Aston Villa and Wolves are also owned by Chinese investors.
Rooney, though, is reportedly keen to see out the remaining three years on his contract and fight for his place under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford despite falling out of favour with the 53-year-old on more than one occasion this season.
“We indeed make an approach for Rooney at the beginning of the season but he’s informed us that he wants to stay in Manchester United,” Guoan’s honorary chairman Luo Ning said.
“Rooney says he’ll keep playing in the Premier League as long as his health allows. We even met with his agent.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies