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Rooney and Out!

Not many people have the bravery or shear confidence to tell Sir Alex Ferguson he wants a transfer. But then Wayne Rooney isn’t just anyone!

Without doubt, the best and most promising player England has produced in many years; Rooney has decided his time at Old Trafford is at an end. This is tabloid heaven!

In truth, Rooney hasn’t been at his best for some time. His tally of one goal this season is well below his goals scored from last term. His World Cup in South Africa this summer was one largely to be forgotten. His usual assuredness on the ball and dynamic involvement went AWOL. His personal problems off the pitch have added to the pressure on his shoulders.

What we seem to know is that Ferguson came out and said Rooney had an ankle injury and that this was the problem with his under-par performances this year.

Rooney subsequently refuted this, saying he was fit and had trained throughout the season with no ill effects from his ankle.

Today, Ferguson has again affirmed that Rooney does have an ankle injury. In fact there are reports that after training today, he was stretchered off and will miss tomorrows Champions league game.

But what does this mean for Rooney and United? Who will come out of this better? Is it a win/lose situation? Or can both parties win?

For Rooney, it is a massive gamble. United are not going to let him go to just any old club. Just remember what Ferguson did with Gabriel Heinze. The player wanted a move to Liverpool, who were one of United’s main rivals then. Ferguson would not budge, saying he would never sell any of his best players to rival clubs. Result: Heinze went elsewhere.

Of course there are opportunities for Rooney abroad. Maybe, Real Madrid or Barcelona – the obvious choices for a player of his ability. The Heinze argument lapses here following Christiano Ronaldo’s move to Spain.  But does he want to go abroad? That’s a big decision.

There’s also the tantalising prospect of him moving across Manchester to new rivals City. Would Ferguson block such a move? City are fast becoming a force in the Premiership. Would it be a wise move to block a big money move when Rooney could very well sit his contract out and walk for free in eighteen months time?

Manchester United’s present buying policy hinges on the ability of the team to compete at the top of the league now. Would they be able to offload Rooney without buying an established player as replacement this season? Whilst they have an array of talent that is the envy of many a team, can it compete for the Premiership without him or another big game player? I think not. United’s buying policy will come under severe scrutiny if Rooney is allowed to go without a ready-made replacement coming in the other direction.

This may be the final straw for the Glazer Out brigade. The pressure will be immense for a sale of the club. The fans won’t tolerate under-achievement when they have been at the top for so long.

In Ferguson, United have had the most successful manager this country has ever seen. Surely it can’t be long before he decides he’s had enough of football and all its troubled waters. In Wayne Rooney, they have one of the best players this country has ever had the privilege to watch.

Ferguson must be hoping that he can persuade Rooney to change his mind so that the final years of his tenure are anything but barren!

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