Where will Wayne end up?
Published 19/10/2010 | 15:39
With Wayne Rooney possibly on his way out of Manchester United following Sir Alex Ferguson's revelations that the England striker does not want sign a new deal at Old Trafford, his next destination is sure to be a hot topic.
There are only a small number of clubs who have the cash and the status to tempt a player of Rooney's calibre and here Press Association Sport's Rory Dollard assesses the likelihood of each.
A short taxi ride to Eastlands would be the easiest move for Rooney from a lifestyle point of view and there is no doubt about City's financial resources or their on-field aspirations.
They could afford a transfer fee and would be ready to double the player's wages in a heartbeat. But the fans' furore over Carlos Tevez's move will look like a minor skirmish compared to the reaction of a deal for Rooney.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti would apparently be amenable to a move for Rooney. Although there has been a sharp move away from the mega-money transfers that characterised Roman Abramovich's early years at Stamford Bridge, the Russian billionaire could be persuaded to loosen the purse strings for a player of Rooney's standing. Didier Drogba is probably unassailable as the team's leader of the line, but Rooney would work well as a deeper-lying partner to the Ivorian.
Barca have put together perhaps the most envied group of footballers on the planet and would be remiss not consider the possible effect of adding Rooney to their collection. Nevertheless, they may ultimately decide their current crop of ball-playing forwards do not require another competitor. Indeed, Rooney's all action style may not sit as easily with the Catalan side's measured approach as some think
Real have history of taking United's wantaway stars in return for bundles of cash - that was the escape clause used by both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo - and the club's powerbrokers would surely see Rooney as their next Galactico. Money is always available when a global star is up for grabs and the fact that Rooney and Ronaldo have proved a lethal combination in the past only adds to the possibility.
Rank outsiders due to Rooney's Everton heritage but in Fernando Torres the Reds have their own off-colour international star. An exchange deal would be a fascinating - if highly unlikely - possibility, but both players look in need of a change of scenery and new Liverpool owners NESV are looking to make a statement in the transfer marker. On the downside, relegation to the Championship would probably torpedo any chance of a return to Merseyside.