Manchester United reject Chelsea’s bid for Wayne Rooney

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Just hours after Wayne Rooney was said to be “angry and confused” by Manchester United’s stance on his future, Premier League rivals Chelsea have launched their bid to bring Rooney to Stamford Bridge.

This never-ending soap opera just took another twist.

However United instantly rejected Chelsea’s offer for the 27-year-old England international, and the circus surrounding Rooney’s future continues.

According to reports in England, Chelsea offered either David Luiz or Juan Mata plus $15 million to land United’s wantaway striker. But Chelsea have confirmed that a straight cash bid was made for Rooney. Does that seem fair for a player who clearly wants to leave?

I think so.

After returning to England following a hamstring injury while on United’s preseason tour of Thailand, Rooney is cut away from the squad and manager David Moyes.

Over the weekend Moyes spoke in a press conference about Rooney’s situation, for the umpteenth time, and stated that “overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we’ll need him.”

How could Rooney not be “angry and confused” by that?

A striker of his caliber and goalscoring expertise is nobody’s backup. This may have been the final nail in the coffin. The sooner Rooney leaves the better.

(MORE: Wayne Rooney “may want a fresh challenge” away from Manchester United)

But with reports of Manchester United wanting a quite ridiculous transfer fee of $115 million… that won’t be happening unless they back down. United should cut their losses and let Rooney leave, they have clearly stated that RVP is their main man throughout last season and now with Moyes’ comments during the preseason tour. Rooney isn’t willing to play second fiddle to another striker at United. So he wants out. It’s understandable.

Would he have to do that at Chelsea? New manager José Mourinho has been coy yet respectful when asked about Rooney and has stated he is a player “he really likes.” With Fernando Torres blowing hot and cold and other strikers Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku dividing opinion at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea could use another striker to bolster their attack. Rooney could also flourish in the No.10 role in behind the main striker and dictate the tempo of the game with his exquisite range of passing.

(MORE: Is Rooney only ‘vital’ in Robin van Persie’s absence?)

Chelsea are probably thinking: ‘why not try and grab one of England’s greatest ever attackers in his prime?’

But back to his present club, since Rooney joined United nine years ago his record is quite stunning and he’s been a figurehead for the playing staff ever since he arrived as a wide-eyed teenager.

Rooney has scored 197 goals in 400 games, just under a goal every other game, and he’s scored at least 15 goals a season since joining United in the 2004-05 campaign.

The ex-Everton striker scored 34 goals in 44 games in both the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons and despite RVP’s marauding goalscoring exploits last season, Manchester United’s staff and fans shouldn’t be quick to forget Rooney’s contribution over the last decade. Rooney has helped them win multiple EPL titles and a UEFA Champions League crown.

But every storybook career has new chapters, and it seems as though Rooney is entering the final page of his Manchester United career.

Henry, Aguero discuss playing up top under Pep

Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
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One great striker got another one to open up on an up-and-down year at Manchester City.

Thierry Henry — one of the greatest of all-time, it must be said — sat down with Sergio Aguero ahead of Thursday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium, and asked the Argentine about Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, and more.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

At times, it’s a fascinating discussion on playing lone striker. Even apart from the obligatory questions regarding Jesus’ arrival at City, Henry and Aguero speak their craft in a manner you don’t see too often.

That’s helped by the fact that Henry played for Guardiola at Barcelona, and can relate to the positional demands of Man City’s boss. Consider this exchange, from Sky Sports:

HENRY: When I was at Arsenal, I played up front and if I wanted to drift out to the left, I could. But when I got to Barca, I had to stay out wide and press. Sometimes doing that can be hard.

AGUERO: The thing I’ve found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches. That’s what Pep asks me to do. It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I’m like.

I’ve been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I’m not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.

In the game itself, I may not realise because I’m so immersed and you can’t stop yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a No 9 and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, “If there’s a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who’s in there? Nobody.”

HENRY: I know all about that, believe you me.

I love this, because it shows how difficult it is for an elite striker to adapt his mentality. Both Henry and Aguero found world-celebrated success by playing in a certain fashion, and Guardiola understood that and still demanded a change. Earlier this season, the manager somewhat famously spoke of improving Aguero.

Aguero has been linked with Real Madrid given the tumult at City.

PHOTO: Liverpool unveils 125th anniversary kit for next season

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Liverpool rolled out its 125th anniversary kit, featuring a special crest to celebrate the occasion.

The Liver bird has 1892 on one side and 2017 on the other, with “125 YEARS” spelled out underneath the club’s emblem.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The red shirt with a gold crest has a white V-neck and white at the ends of the sleeves. The goalkeeper kit is green.

The jersey will be available on May 19, and was announced last month.

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Jara’s goal lifts Pachuca to CONCACAF Champions League crown

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Hirving Lozano’s dipping shot rebounded into the path of Franco Jara, who scored the goal that won Pachuca its fifth CONCACAF Championship early Thursday morning.

The Argentine’s goal was the only one of the win over UANL Tigres, and gave Pachuca its first continental title since 2009-10. USMNT veteran Omar Gonzalez played for the winners, while Jose Torres started for Tigres.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

Major League Soccer teams were eliminated in the semifinals, with FC Dallas falling to Pachuca and Vancouver Whitecaps losing to Tigres.

Beginning with the 2017-18 tournament, qualified MLS and Liga MX teams will not enter the tournament until the Round of 16. The entire tournament will be held in the same calendar year.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.