Wayne Rooney wants out but where will he end up?

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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Wayne Rooney has put in a transfer request to leave Manchester United.

Following United’s 2-1 win against Swansea on Sunday, Ferguson admitted that Rooney has asked to leave the club although the manager still holds out hopes the striker will change his mind.

“I don’t think Wayne was keen to play, simply because he’s asked for a transfer,” the Scot told Sky Sports. “I think he wants to think things through in his own mind. I think that’s a good idea. We’re not going to let him go.”

Ferguson feels Rooney’s desire to leave stems from being left out of the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid and the reduced role he has played in United’s run in since. Rooney has played a full 90 minutes just once (against Stoke City) in United’s last nine matches. “I think he’s maybe a bit frustrated at being taken off once or twice in the past few weeks,” Ferguson said.

If Rooney is, in fact, seriously looking to leave Old Trafford, there are three clubs being mentioned as possible destinations.

Chelsea is one possibility. The Blues could certainly satisfy Rooney’s wage demands as they look to rebuild their squad following this season’s woes. Playing under Jose Mourinho could also have its appeal for Rooney although it’s not certain whether the Portuguese manager is definitely headed to Stamford Bridge or whether he would want the United striker in his squad.

The biggest issue is whether the Blues even need Rooney. Chelsea already employs Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, and is likely to bring Romelu Lukaku into the fold next year. Furthermore, Roman Abramovich is a long time admirer of strikers like Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani meaning a splurge for either one isn’t out of the question. Factor in Chelsea’s use of the 4-2-3-1 formation and there simply may not be any space for Wazza at the Bridge.

Munich is another place Rooney could end up with the player himself noting his desire to end up there. With both Champions League finalists hailing from the Bundesliga, it’s a league that’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for Europe’s top players. Plus, the lure of playing for Pep Guardiola can’t be understated.

Questions remain, however, as to how Rooney would fit in at Munich. The Bavarian giants already employ a host of world class attackers including Thomas Mueller, Mario Mandzukic, Franc Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez, Toni Kroos, Claudio Pizarro and (this summer) Mario Gotze. Tough to see why the Bundesliga champions would have a need for Rooney.

Paris St. Germain is the third club being linked with Rooney. PSG’s Qatari owners could easily afford Rooney’s wage demands while moving to Paris wouldn’t take Rooney too far away from his English roots. David Beckham has already made the move to PSG while Joey Barton’s move to Marseille has proven that Englishmen can do quite well in Ligue 1. Plus, there’s something very intriguing about Rooney playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the kind of fiery partnership they could form. The project at PSG, however, continues to grow and an aging striker may be the last thing they want to add to their roster.

Finally, although they have yet to be linked to Rooney, Manchester City has to be an option as the striker attempted to engineer a move to the Etihad in October 2010. All things considered, however, there’s no better place for Rooney than United. For years he’s carried the club as a striker and this past year he did the dirty work dropping back into midfield when the likes of Paul Scholes, Tom Cleverley and Anderson couldn’t get the job done. United would do well to buy a proper midfielder or two and allow Rooney to play where he’s hungry to play, in the hole behind Robin van Persie.

VIDEO: Asensio goal ends Real Madrid’s winless run

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Marco Asensio’s eighth goal of the season and second of this Copa del Rey put an end to an unlikely Real Madrid winless run in a 1-0 victory at Leganes.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 21-year-old darted in front of a defender to volley home from in-tight, giving Real Madrid a first leg lead in the tournament quarterfinals.

More importantly, perhaps, it gives struggling Real a boost in morale after draws with Celta Vigo and Numancia, and a loss to Villarreal.

Real is home to Deportivo de la Coruna in La Liga before hosting Leganes in the second leg.

Hopeful Newcastle buyer Staveley: Offer still on the table

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably happy that his for-sale club is away this weekend, even though his side’s up against Manchester City.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.

Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.

A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:

“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there have been protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.

2018 MLS Mock Draft: LAFC, Galaxy hold the keys

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Major League Soccer’s latest batch of hopeful rookies learn the next steps of their professional careers beginning Friday with the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft.

There are several intriguing prospects, including accomplished Stanford center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and dangerous Michigan winger Francis Atuahene.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

An MLS mock draft is always tricky given the wildly varying opinions on players from the college game. This year, it’s even trickier as clubs without picks and some with multiple first round picks may be looking to move up and down even more than the norm.

Here’s how we think the draft could play out:

  1. LAFC – Tomas Hilliard-Arce, CB, Stanford
  2. LA Galaxy – Jon Bakero, FW, Wake Forest
  3. DC United – Francis Atuahene, FW, Michigan
  4. Montreal – Joao Moutinho, LB, Akron
  5. Minnesota – Wyatt Omsberg, CB, Dartmouth
  6. Orlando City – Ema Twumasi, FW, Wake Forest
  7. Montreal – Chris Mueller, FW, Wisconsin
  8. New England – Mo Adams, MF, Syracuse
  9. New England – Chris Lema, MF, Georgetown
  10. Real Salt Lake – Justin Fiddes, LB, Washington
  11. FC Dallas – Marcelo Acuna, FW, Virginia Tech
  12. San Jose – Brandon Bye, RB, Western Michigan
  13. Sporting KC – Ed Opoku, FW, Virginia
  14. Atlanta – Alex Roldan, MF, Seattle
  15. Chicago – Mason Toye, FW, Indiana
  16. New York Red Bulls – Alan Winn, MF, North Carolina
  17. Vancouver – Tristan Blackmon, RB, Pacific
  18. Sporting KC – Jon Gallagher, FW, Notre Dame
  19. New York City FC – Daniel Musovski, FW, UNLV
  20. Houston – Mo Thiaw, FW, Louisville
  21. Columbus – Brian White, FW, Duke
  22. Seattle – Tim Kubel, MF, Louisville
  23. Toronto FC – Oliver Shannon, MF, Clemson

There are a few players to keep an eye on for the later rounds that I won’t project for the first round due almost exclusively to first person bias (Some I’ve seen play in college, others at other levels). Afonso Pinheiro from Albany produced like crazy until this season, and Bowling Green defender Alexis Souahy has a skill set that could really transmit to the MLS level.

Mac Steeves (Providence) is a prototypical big body scorer, while Evansville’s heady Ian McGrath has a flair for the absurd and can play almost every position up the center of the pitch. Charleston’s Thomas Vancaeyezeele was a D-2 monster and is probably worth a shot earlier than people suspect.

Roma-Chelsea reports could see Dzeko, Batshuayi… and Sturridge on the move

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Here’s a wild rumor out of Italy, as Gianluca Di Marzio has UEFA Champions League Round of 16 sides Chelsea and Roma working out a big transfer.

[ MORE: PST chats with Dzeko in July ]

Again, before we lay it out, we know that both clubs would not be able to use Cup-tied players in the UCL and that gives the rumor its unrealistic bent.

Chelsea reportedly is willing to send $62 million and striker Michy Batshuayi on loan to Roma in exchange for Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmeiri. Reports say Roma is holding out for another $20 million, potentially add-ons.

Dzeko isn’t producing at his otherworldly rate of last season, but is far and away i Lupi’s leading scorer and bagged a brace against Chelsea in the UCL. And Batshuayi scored in Chelsea’s first two matches of the tournament.

There is something to the rumor, at least in terms of Emerson. The London Evening Standard quotes the player’s agent as saying talks are ongoing and the move is a “dream” one for Emerson, who is behind Aleksandar Kolarov on the left back depth chart since returning from injury.

Roma would need a UCL-eligible center forward, as Czech youngster Patrik Schick has been unable to find his scoring boots since a summer move from Sampdoria. Football Italia says, sensationally, that Roma would use some of the money to pry Daniel Sturridge from Liverpool.

Maybe the Emerson move goes through, but the striker swap feels like a headscratcher for Dzeko and Chelsea.