Apr 2, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT
Despite running away with the Premier League title Manchester United will likely undergo a major overhaul this summer. But could that reshuffle include sending Wayne Rooney to Paris Saint-Germain?
Rumors of Rooney to Paris have swirled for weeks, with nothing more than mere speculation propelling the chatter. But today PSG’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, confirmed there’s more to it than merely conjecture although no approaches have been made.
“There’s a lot of players really interested in the club. That was not the case when we bought the club,’ Al-Khelaifi told Sky Sports. “[Rooney’s] a great player, one of the best strikers in the world. I think everybody would like to have him. But if you want to talk about the facts, we have not approached him.”
At the beginning of the season few could have contemplated the possibility of Rooney being shipped off this summer. But with the insertion of Robin van Persie into the squad, Rooney has been deployed further back on the pitch, increasing his role as provider but decreasing his effectiveness as a goalscorer. The 27 year old has managed another strong season, with 12 goals and 9 assists in 21 matches, but others appear quite capable of doing that job just as well, if not better. Namely, Shinji Kagawa.
The Japanese international is a younger, shiftier player who is more acclimated to the role of playmaker than Rooney. In his first season since coming over from Borussia Dortmund, Kagawa started the season slow but is now firing on all cylinders and few doubt that he’ll be pulling the strings at Old Trafford for years to come.
Hindering Rooney’s future at United more than anything else, however, is his bloated wage bill. At the rumored rate of $378,200/£250,000 per week, it’s a salary that United will be desperate to rid itself from, especially considering the club’s desire to bring in new blood like Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Leighton Baines and a whole host of other potential transfers.
The question then becomes – who is willing to take on Rooney’s wages?
Even the deep pockets of PSG, which currently pay Zlatan Ibrahimovic $18/€14 million a year, are unlikely to pay a similar bill for Rooney’s services as doing so would raise red flags for Michel Platini and the Fair Play police. In fact, all of Wazza’s potential suitors (which includes Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Anzhi Makhachkala) will be forced to contemplate the same issue – is the player worth the pay?
The deliberations continue this weekend when Rooney and the Red Devils welcome City to Old Trafford for this season’s second installment of the Manchester Derby.
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