Wayne Rooney prepared to submit transfer request at Manchester United
Chelsea’s second bid rejected, striker to miss AIK friendly due to ‘shoulder injury’
Moyes is also acutely aware that, with no Rooney, United would be light on attackers, particularly bearing in mind Robin van Persie’s past injury problems. Javier Hernandez and Daniel Welbeck would provide other options but United’s concerns are obvious and balanced against the possibility of leaving Mourinho with strength in depth, in the form of Rooney, Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku.
United have already found it a difficult summer in terms of transfer business and, with two unsuccessful bids already, clearly have their work cut out persuading Barcelona to sell Cesc Fábregas.
They are, however, pressing ahead. A third bid in the region of €46m (£35m) is being put together despite Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta claiming at the weekend that United had accepted the deal would not happen and Arsène Wenger’s observation, after his own inquiries on behalf of Arsenal, that it would be a futile exercise. Wenger’s information is his former player will stay at Camp Nou for at least another year but United’s chief executive Ed Woodward has been given the encouragement to believe a move is still possible and is keen to support Moyes in the transfer market. While Manchester City have spent €100.5m (£87m) on Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, Woodward and his colleagues recognise that losing Rooney without a like-for-like replacement lined up would be a significant setback to Moyes.
Rooney played in a practice match against Real Betis at United’s training ground on Saturday and had been pencilled in to feature in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match at Old Trafford on Friday. That is now in doubt, as is any participation in the Community Shield against Wigan Athletic two days later, at least sparing him the possibility of a hostile reception from the 40,000-plus United supporters at Wembley.
“Wayne hurt his shoulder in a fall during a match on Saturday,” Moyes said. “It’s not too serious and I don’t expect it to keep him out for too long. I’m disappointed he’s missing the game because we were keen to get him back involved and ready to play.”