Rooney removes “Manchester United” from his Twitter page

Striker may be following Alex Ferguson out of Old Trafford

 A photo from 2004 with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney  with Joe Ruane (centre) who held a sign pleading for the club to sign Wayne Rooney. Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

A photo from 2004 with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney with Joe Ruane (centre) who held a sign pleading for the club to sign Wayne Rooney. Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

Thu, May 9, 2013, 14:06

Wayne Rooney has removed the term “Manchester United player” from his twitter page and replaced it with “NikeUK athlete” following his demand to Alex Ferguson a fortnight ago to leave the club this summer.

While United are clear the striker is not for sale, according to a well placed source Rooney is valued at £40m by United, so if a serious offer was made for him this may at least be explored. United are interested in bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, from Real Madrid, so the potential transfer of Rooney would help finance any deal.

Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Chelsea are potential suitors for the 27-year-old who has endured an uneven season for United.

While it is not known why Rooney removed the description from his Twitter feed, the timing of it further heightens the sense of his disgruntlement with life at United.

At the meeting with Ferguson the outgoing manager told Rooney he could not leave and that remains United’s stance. Rooney’s camp have declined to comment on his position.

David Moyes’s first challenge on succeeding Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager will be to persuade Wayne Rooney to stay at the club.

On Wednesday night a United spokesperson said: “Wayne Rooney is not for sale.” The Liverpudlian has had an uneven season in which he has been played out of position by Ferguson and was dropped for the club’s biggest match, the Champions League last-16 second-leg meeting with Real Madrid in February.

Moyes, who was identified months ago by United as their ideal candidate to replace Ferguson whenever their manager stood down, was Rooney’s first manager when the striker broke into the Everton side in 2002.

After Rooney moved to United two years later, he and Moyes fell out, with the Scot suing the player regarding allegations he made in an autobiography. But after Rooney made a personal apology three years ago the pair’s relationship is thought to be healthy.

Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Bayern Munich may be among potential suitors for Rooney but, with his demand to leave coming before the surprise decision of Ferguson to retire, Moyes’s arrival may change the dynamic and convince Rooney he can make a fresh start under him.
Guardian Service