Tuesday 12 December 2017

Every club would snap up Rooney – Wenger

Jim van Wijk

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains that every club would be interested in signing Wayne Rooney should the England striker come on to the market this summer.

Rooney's future at Old Trafford is uncertain after David Moyes, his former manager at Everton, succeeded Alex Ferguson, who had dropped the forward as a result of him handing in a transfer request.

The England international, who netted a fine goal in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Brazil in the Maracana, struggled for consistency last season, when he played second fiddle to Robin van Persie following the Dutchman's £24m arrival from Arsenal.

Wenger has a £100m war chest to spend as he looks to make the Gunners title contenders once again. Funds at the Emirates have been boosted by new sponsorship deals and the impending departure of several surplus players like Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Sebastien Squillaci, Korean forward Park Chu-young and Denilson.

While Arsenal would certainly need all of those resources to land Rooney (27), in terms of a transfer fee and personal terms, Wenger indicated that for such a talent it would be worth the effort.

"Rooney could be an interesting player for everybody in the world, who would turn him down?" said Wenger. "David Moyes' first challenge is to go in to Manchester and bridge the gap between him and Rooney.

"If that is feasible or not depends on his personality and if Rooney bears a grudge or not, we will see that. You always face challenges like that as a manager. It will be interesting to see how that will be handled."

Wenger has already begun his summer rebuilding plans, pushing through a deal for France U-21 forward Yaya Sanogo on a free from Auxerre, and is tracking Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain along with Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.

Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams and Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek are also reported targets should Wenger decide to overhaul the rearguard again in the summer, although captain Thomas Vermaelen has vowed to stay on and battle for his place in central defence.

"We are a club that every summer sees one or two players come in, but we still find ourselves needing to replace someone and it is always difficult," said Wenger.

Irish Independent

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