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Arsenal joins Wayne Rooney chase; Manchester United fans have to love this

Jul 17, 2013, 11:22 PM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

In the four years since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid, Manchester United have played out a Wayne Rooney era that needs to end, be that with his move to another club or the player accepting a new role within the team. While at one time Rooney was talismanic, now only the most loyal of  fans would see the 27-year-old as needed, let alone wanted. On huge wages that only add to his mounting baggage, it’s a bit perplexing that any top club wants to add him to their payroll, let alone pay a $30 million fee to the privilege.

But that’s what Chelsea are rumored to have offered to Manchester United for the want-away striker, a bid that was reported rejected by the Red Devils. Provided technical director Michael Emenalo doesn’t up the ante, Blues fan should see United’s decision as a $150 million bullet dodged. Between transfer fees and wages Rooney would garner should a club sign him a to five-year deal at his Manchester salary, that huge bill would accompany the England international to his new home.

Despite Rooney scoring 100 times (all competitions) in 164 games since Ronaldo left Manchester, that’s crazy money to throw at a player who turns 28 in October – a forward that scored only 16 times last season. But what’s even crazier is that Chelsea may not be the only bidder. According to reports out of England late Wednesday, Arsenal is ready to compete with their London rivals for Rooney’s signature.

Given Rooney’s wages, the chances of him moving to Arsenal having to be long, but if Arsène Wenger suddenly decides players making almost double what he might pay Gonzalo Higuaín would be acceptable, the move would be worse for the Gunners than the the Blues. Rooney is just not a player any team should be committing $150 million to right now, let alone a team that’s unlikely to compete for a title.

Regardless, Manchester United fans have to love this. Not only does it seem a player who has become a problem might be sold (though the team insists he’s still not for sale), but the Red Devils could make a major dent in a rival’s finances if they sell in league, using the generous fee somebody’s willing to pay to invest that in a capable, less expensive replacement.

In a more rational world, Manchester United would be stuck with their egregious mistake, but in the decidedly irrational world of club soccer, their error might pay off.

  1. jrocknstuff - Jul 18, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    This is like the Red Sox giving the Yankees $30 Million for Alex Rodriguez. Absolutely insane. If I were Man U I’d be sending him to London on the first flight

  2. lfcrising - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I am enjoying this mess Man Utd has themselves in. He’s not the remotely close to the player he was 2-3 years ago, but he certainly thinks he is and better. The club coddled him for so long that he thinks he can get away with this routine, which worked a few years ago for his insane wages. Suddenly, the club is over the act and he’s ‘angry and confused.’ Comedy. The $30M bid from Chelsea actually seems only a touch low, taking into account age, years left on contract and Cavani’s cost.

  3. bman0921 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Watch Rooney play, I mean actually watch him play, then write this article again. The greatest English player in the game today would undoubtedly be the difference between Chelsea and Man United winning the Premier League title this season. So yeah, he “only” scored 16 goals this past season (with 10 assists I might add) but that was despite playing most of the season out of position, even filling in as a holding midfielder at times (pretty good numbers for a midfielder), which only further demonstrates his quality. I don’t know too many strikers who could also function effectively as a holding midfielder. In the 2011-2012 season, when he played as an out-and-out striker, he scored 35 times for his club. 35 times. And those are just his goals. The dude passes, strikes from distance, and has a work-rate like none other. That kind of production for Chelsea is just scary. They would win the title but hey, at least we would put a dent in their finances right?…So, to answer your question…No, we don’t love this, because we would rather win titles.

  4. jrocknstuff - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    The thing is, along with the $30 M, original reports also had Chelsea offering David Luiz or Juan Mata, until Morinho said yesterday they were both staying at Stamford Bridge. The Red Devils could make great use out of either one of those players offered, along with the financial reprieve.

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