It’s no secret that Wayne Rooney hasn’t been doing well since Louis Van Gaal took the helm at Old Trafford.
Seeing him wearing a jersey without Manchester United’s crest on it seems hard to believe. Nonetheless, that is what a report from The Sun would have fans believing.
The British newspaper claims that Rooney’s future doesn’t lie in Manchester, but in China instead. Yes, they want Rooney to become the face of the Chinese Super League. The league has acquired many high-profile players over the past few seasons, mainly from South America, and now they want a superstar that would pull others with him.
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who has been coaching in China since 2013, already urged his former player to join him in the East.
“Football is becoming huge here, and they have very big ambitions for the Chinese Super League,” Eriksson said. “We already have famous players, like Robinho, Asamoah Gyan and Demba Ba, and they have brought something special.
“But of course, Rooney is at another level.
“He is top, top, top — in the same category as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
When it comes to worldwide recognition, Rooney is indeed one of the players who cut close to those two.
Eriksson even said that the move to China wouldn’t be such a culture shock for Rooney, who has lived in Northwest England his whole life.
“This is a fantastic country to live in. I live in Shanghai, and if you asked me to compare it to London, I honestly couldn’t say which was better,” Eriksson said. “It is modern, cosmopolitan and has so much energy. Everything you need is here. It is fantastic and would be a great place for him to end his career.”
The Chinese League recently signed a new TV deal worth £830m and would use that money to drag Rooney into the mix. However, Rooney is only likely to leave the Red Devils at the end of his contract, which still has three years to run.
Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be surprising if Van Gaal found himself with a big money offer for Rooney in front of him and considered taking it.
At an estimate of £260,000-a-week, Rooney is the highest paid player in the Premier League according to the Daily Mail. And by no means is he performing well enough to justify that paycheck.
The 30-year-old has played 12 matches in the Premier League this season, and has only scored a couple of goals and had one assist to his name.
Last season, Van Gaal’s first, was also a bad one for Rooney. He played 33 matches for United in the Premier League, netting 12 goals and dishing out five assists.
In contrast to these most recent seasons, he had a stellar 2013-14 season under David Moyes even though his efforts weren’t enough to get the Red Devils a Champions League berth. Nevertheless, he led the team in scoring with 17 goals, five more than Robin Van Persie. Rooney also led United in assists with ten assists, six more than second-ranked Juan Mata.