The issue continues to roll on but Manchester United manager David Moyes is remaining defiant that Wayne Rooney will not be sold.
His words have been interesting on the basis that he has never said the Rooney is happy to stay at Old Trafford but he has continued to reiterate the Rooney is not for sale. Rooney and his representatives have made no comment whatsoever regarding his future which has caused a divide in media opinions. But if Rooney wishes to leave, should he be sold or should he be forced to honour his contract?
Rooney is a big personality and an unsettled Rooney could have a negative effect on the whole Manchester United squad. His ability as a player is most definitely an asset but will it be a good thing to keep an unsettled player. The pro’s and con’s of keeping and selling Rooney are endless and both scenarios will be a big risk for Moyes in his new position in charge of a new era at Old Trafford.
The general speculation is pointing to the fact that Rooney does want to leave and seek a new challenge. The fact that he has remained silent on the whole affair points more to him wishing to leave. If he really wanted to stay, I think he would simply have declared his intention to do so. Moyes has not confirmed either that Rooney wants to stay.
It appears that Rooney has grown tired of his role in the United team. He is not the main striker anymore. He gets played in central-midfield or out wide to facilitate other players and it seems that he wants to be at a team where he is played as a striker. He seems to be a player who enjoys playing football and he doesn’t seem to be enjoying his role in the United squad at the moment and on that basis, seeking a departure is understandable.
Counter arguments would suggest that Rooney wanting to leave is crazy. He is at one of the biggest clubs in the world. He has won endless trophies since moving there. He is very close to becoming their record goalscorer and it seems that he still has a big role to play at a massive club. People would see any move away as either a downward or sideways move. Whatever way people look at it, opinions will differ but I think a move for Rooney is understandable. When he looks at other big clubs in England, he sees the need for a central striker at other big English clubs and the thought of a move must be appealing.
So should he be sold? I think the answer to this question depends on other circumstances. If a club outside England had come in for Rooney, I think he would have been sold already. I think it’s the risk of selling him to such a close rival is the main stumbling block in his departure. Chelsea are the only club to declare an interest in Rooney and selling Rooney to Chelsea would probably give them a huge advantage in the title race. It would be a massive risk to sell to Chelsea so on that basis keeping an unsettled player may be worth it.
The main problem for Moyes seems to be finding a replacement for Rooney. There is a huge lack of top quality, proven attackers available in this current transfer window. The two biggest names, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao have moved elsewhere and there seems to very few others available. Robert Lewandowski may possibly be tempted by a move, even though it appears that he has agreed to join Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of next season, but could a bid from Manchester United tempt him? He is one name that could possibly tempt Moyes to allow Rooney to leave. If he had a replacement ready, I think Moyes could sell, but if not, I think the risk of selling Rooney could prove too big.
There is no doubt that the speculation regarding Rooney could go right down to the final seconds of the closure of the transfer window. Chelsea will persist with their attempts to sign as Rooney seems like an ideal signing. It seems that a move to Chelsea will be welcomed by Rooney but not by Manchester United. Will Rooney try to force a deal through, like Luis Suarez is doing at Liverpool?
It will be interesting to see what stance Rooney takes, come next weekend when the season starts. Will he be committed to the United cause or will he simply down tools? If Moyes can find an adequate replacement, I think Rooney will leave but the risk may be too big for Moyes should he fail to have a marquee signing on hand to fill his position. This saga will certainly continue and I can imagine many twists and turns before the window closes.