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Wayne Rooney To Leave United?

Another day, another rumour concerning Wayne Rooney’s life after Manchester United. And now it’s not just Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid and PSG in the picture; apparently now Barcelona have become seriously interested.

Before any tug of war for the England striker can begin in earnest, however, Rooney and the Old Trafford hierarchy will be sitting down to thrash out whether they still have a future together and nobody really knows with any degree of certainty how that discussion will turn out.

Coral go 8/11 that Rooney will start next season still wearing the red and white of Man United, even money that he doesn’t – in other words it’s pretty much touch and go whether he stays or goes.

David Moyes will have had much to ponder on his summer holiday. He goes back a long way with his boy protégé and has always been a great admirer, but if the player is unhappy, the new boss might be wondering just how much he wants to persuade him to stay.

With Robin van Persie now assuming the main striker’s role and established internationals Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez also in the frame, not to mention the emergence of Shinji Kagawa, the likely acquisition of Thiago and the possible addition of another big name (a Ronaldo return is being mentioned again), Moyes might feel, albeit reluctantly, that a parting of the ways might be the best solution all round.

So if Rooney does leave, where will he go? If he stays in England, then Chelsea (Coral’s 9/4 favourite) and Arsenal (100/30) look the most likely destinations. Chelsea have been at the head of this market for some time, but Arsenal’s management have let it be known more than once that they have money to spend and are interested.

Real Madrid (11/4) and PSG (7/2) are in the box seat should Rooney elect to move abroad and there are now rumours that Barcelona are keen on him, possibly in a part-exchange deal with Thiago, who they are resigned to losing to United any time soon.

That would seem a less likely outcome to this saga – Rooney’s unhappiness stems from him not being selected for United’s big games last season and he is even less likely to command an automatic starting place at the Nou Camp, especially now Neymar is there – and is reflected in Coral’s 14/1 quote.

All may be revealed within the next week or so, but the Gareth Bale story might drag on a little longer with Real Madrid playing their usual long game, chipping away at the player with a compliment here and an accolade there. Coral rate Bale (1/2) at a shorter price than Rooney to be still at Spurs at the start of next season, but it’s surely only a matter of time before he leaves White Hart Lane for the Bernebeu.

Written by Jon Freeman