A number of MLS clubs are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney, as speculation over his future at Old Trafford continues to grow.
Rooney has lost his starting place for United, and the Mirror report that his situation has alerted clubs in the US who would be willing to offer the 31-year old big money to join their league.
After a poor start to the season, Rooney has not started a league game for United since being dropped from the starting line up in their 4-1 victory over Leicester on 24th September. With the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and emergence of Marcus Rashford, Rooney’s place is no longer guaranteed for club or country.
With manager Jose Mourinho happy to axe senior members of his squad like Bastian Schweinsteiger, his captain could be forced to look elsewhere for first team football. However, Rooney’s £300,000-a-week contract could restrict his options to money rich leagues like the US and China.
Merritt Paulson, owner of MLS franchise Portland Timbers, claims that Rooney could have an impact similar to David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy in 2007 if he moved to the US. He said “keeping in mind that is a very talented footballer, who has quality soccer ahead of him, you are not talking about a 34 or 35 year old.
“I get excited about the impact he would have in the MLS more than a guy who is coming in later in his career.”
However, Rooney is contracted at Old Trafford until 2019, and will be determined to fight his way back into Mourinho’s plans. He is already England’s record scorer, and needs four more goals to surpass Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals for Manchester United. Mourinho has also stated his desire to keep Rooney at the club.
If he continues to be overlooked for a starting place though, Rooney could be forced to look at other options. If he does, the chance to emulate England great Beckham in the MLS could be a tempting proposition.