Friday 24 November 2017

Wayne Rooney to seek assurances from David Moyes

Wayne Rooney has been linked with a move to Arsenal
Wayne Rooney has been linked with a move to Arsenal

Jeremy Wilson

Wayne Rooney will seek assurances about his prospective role in the team when he meets this week with David Moyes for the first time since his former Everton manager joined him at Manchester United.

Moyes officially starts work at United on Monday and at the top of his in-tray is the need to solve Rooney’s future and decide whether to rival Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.

There is an expectation that Rooney will outline his desire to seek a new challenge and move on when he meets Moyes on the resumption of pre-season training on Wednesday but, according to sources, his future is far from decided and all options remain open.

Rooney missed the end of last season amid claims from Sir Alex Ferguson that the 27-year-old had asked to leave and he was often not played in his preferred central striker’s position during a campaign in which Robin van Persie was United’s main focal point.

Although the Rooney camp dispute Ferguson’s claim and are adamant that he did not submit a transfer request while discussing his frustrations at being dropped from the Champions League tie against Real Madrid, the player has since been the target of criticism from United supporters, many of whom booed when he received his Premier League winners’ medal last month. Rooney has only two years left on his United contract and, at a fee of around £25  million, there is interest from both Chelsea and Arsenal.

The potential availability of Lewandowski will also feature prominently in Moyes’s thoughts. Although Dortmund have turned down an offer from Bayern Munich, there is a sense that he could still be attainable for a club outside the Bundesliga.

United had a formal approach for Lewandowski rejected last August and are also considering a new bid for Leighton Baines after an initial £12 million offer was rejected by Everton. Manchester City, who have sold Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli during the past seven months, are looking for a striker and also expected to test Dortmund’s desire to keep Lewandowski during this transfer window.

Roberto Mancini, the former Manchester City manager, had made Edinson Cavani his priority signing but successor Manuel Pellegrini is looking to other targets and wants to give Edin Dzeko more chances next season.

Chelsea are keen on Cavani, and there were reports in Italy yesterday that they had agreed personal terms, but Real Madrid are also interested and expected to bid.

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