Wayne Rooney of Manchester United blocks a clearance by Gary Cahill of Chelsea

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.

FOLLOW LIVE: 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs knockout round

Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, center, is congratulated by teammates, including midfielder Roger Espinoza (27), following his goal during the first half of an MLS soccer match against the Houston Dynamo in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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The knockout round of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs concludes on Thursday, as four teams vie for the final two places — one in the Eastern Conference, one in the Western Conference — in the conference semifinals, which begin on Sunday.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: MLS Cup Playoffs knockout round ]

Up first, the East’s fourth-seeded D.C. United welcome the five-seed Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium for the two sides’ third meeting of the 2016 season. Each of the year’s first two clashes finished a 1-1 draw, in July and August. Didier Drogba is expected to be unavailable for the win-or-go-home tie. United finished the regular season with four wins in the last five games, while the Impact won just two of their last eight.

[ MORE: Preivewing Thursday night’s knockout-round games ]

In the nightcap, the West’s fourth-seeded Seattle Sounders will take on the five-side, Sporting Kansas City, at CenturyLink Field. Sporting were victorious in both regular-season meetings this year — 1-0 on opening day, and 3-0 in late-July, the day the Sounders essentially quit on Sigi Schmid. Since that blistering hot day in KC, the Soudners have lost just twice in 14 games (eight wins, four draws).

Thursday’s MLS Cup Playoffs schedule

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC — 10 p.m. ET

Cristiano Ronaldo says Ashley Cole is the toughest player he faced

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Cristiano Ronaldo has faced the best defenders in the world during his time with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team.

He has also caused fits for most of those defenders with goal after goal for club and country. But, there have been some players who have at least made it difficult for the all-time leading goal scorer in Real Madrid and Champions League history.

According to Ronaldo, former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Ashley Cole was the toughest player he has faced in his career.

[ MORE: VIDEO: Incredible Pelle goal in China ]

“Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe,” Ronaldo told Coach Mag. “He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game.”

During his time with Manchester United, Ronaldo faced Cole on numerous occasions while Cole was with Arsenal and Chelsea. The two have also faced off in international competition between Ronaldo’s Portugal and Cole’s England.

It’s certainly high praise for Cole, who now plays in MLS for the LA Galaxy. At the age of 35, Cole has started 25 matches for the Galaxy this season, scoring one goal.

Phil Neville praises Juan Mata’s play to Manchester United

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Juan Mata has appeared in 116 matches for Manchester United since moving to Old Trafford in 2014. In that time, Mata has scored 29 goals and recorded 18 assists.

Despite his performance for the team, some thought Mata would be moved when Jose Mourinho came to town, including former United player and assistant coach Phil Neville.

Neville told Sky Sports, “I actually thought he would be the first out of the door when Jose came, but he’s actually becoming one of the most important players.”

Neville praised Mata’s contributions and versatility for United. “He is never injured, he provides a lot of assists, he plays in two or three different positions, and he scores important goals.”

Manchester United has lacked an identity under Mourinho and recently faltered in the Premier League as the team is winless in its last three matches.

[ MORE: Mourinho gets FA charge ]

Could Mata be the answer to some of United’s problems?

The Spaniard is a classic No. 10 with the ability to dictate his team’s attack and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Mata can also put the ball in the back of the net as evidenced by his winner against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

Mourinho has options in the center midfield with the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick in addition to Mata on the roster.

However, given the team’s Premier League struggles, it could be worth giving Mata a chance as the team’s No. 10.

David Moyes faces FA charges after being sent off during EFL Cup

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David Moyes and Sunderland have gotten off to one of the worst starts in Premier League history.

If they fail to earn a point against Arsenal this weekend, they will tie the 1995-96 Manchester City team for the worst start ever through 10 matches with two points.

It appears those frustrations carried over to the EFL Cup for Moyes. On Wednesday, the manager was forced to leave the dugout toward the end of Sunderland’s 1-0 loss to Southampton after he protested a no-call from referee Chris Kavanagh.

Moyes was charged by the FA for his protests, saying the manager “used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official”.

It’s just another thing to add to Moyes’ plate as he looks to keep Sunderland’s hopes of safety alive in the Premier League.