Belfast Telegraph

Wayne Rooney unlikely to leave Manchester United for China next week

Wayne Rooney is unlikely to leave Manchester United for the Chinese Super League before its transfer window shuts next week, Press Association Sport understands.

A month on from becoming United's all-time top scorer, momentum is building suggesting the 31-year-old could leave Old Trafford for pastures new.

Big-spending Chinese clubs have been widely linked with a move for Rooney and reports suggest the forward could even head to the Far East before the CSL transfer window shuts on Tuesday.

Press Association Sport understands an exit by then is highly unlikely, with the forward instead likely to end the campaign at United.

Rooney's deal at Old Trafford runs until next summer, with United holding the option to extend it by a further year.

The forward is naturally understood to be considering his options ahead of next season, having fallen down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho.

There is little indication that Rooney is attempting to engineer a move to China or elsewhere, but United boss Mourinho surprisingly said ahead of the Europa League last-32 clash in St Etienne that the future was in his captain's hands.

"You'll have to ask him," the United boss said. "You have to ask him.

"Of course I can't guarantee (he will be here). I can't guarantee that I'm here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?

"What I can guarantee is that if Wayne one day leaves the club it is not because I want him to leave the club. That's the only thing I can guarantee.

"I would never push - or try to push - a legend of this club to another destiny.

"So you have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or if he sees himself moving.

"It is not a question for me because I am happy to have him."

Pushed on whether it was possible Rooney could leave in the next week, Mourinho retorted: "You have to ask him, not me.

"I was very open with you in the answer. I don't want him to leave."

The riches on offer in China are a tantalising prospect, with wages of as high as £1million-per-week reportedly on the table.

Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande are among the clubs said to be interested in Rooney, who will miss the return leg at St Etienne through injury and potentially Sunday's EFL Cup final with Southampton.

"I don't know," Mourinho said of his captain's fitness for Wembley. "It was the first time he trained and he didn't even train 100 per cent with the group.

"You saw 15 minutes open to the press and, yes, he was doing the warm-up and basic things after that.

"But then when the training session was high in intensity, he was not training.

"He's not here, he stayed back training and let's see for the weekend."


From Belfast Telegraph