Any news that involves both Manchester United and Arsenal is going to get a new post from the English media, so it’s no surprise some nice, boring, obligatory words from Arsène Wenger are being spun into transfer speculation. But any reports Wayne Rooney moving to The Emirates require one vital caveat: It’s not going to happen.
The 27-year-old Red Devils’ attacker may be leaving Manchester United this summer, with outgoing manager Alex Ferguson having made a point of revealing the player’s transfer demand after his last game at Old Trafford. Though Rooney has since denied making a formal request, incoming manager David Moyes is left with a quandary. Does he try to bridge the gap between his new club and a player he once had to sue over defamatory remarks (the claim was later settled out of court)? Or does he avoid the first problem of his tenure by letting a malcontent find a new home?
It all sounds like a Rooney power play gone horribly wrong. Blinded by his stature and a cloistered place in a seemingly supportive club, the once talismanic forward tries to forces his way into more playing time by hinting at a move. Ferguson, in one of this last political maneuvers before retiring to his stables, goes public with the claim, authoritatively saying “the boy” wants out. And while Rooney can say rightfully claim that he didn’t formally ask for a move, Ferguson’s tactic successfully flips the script. Now if Rooney wants to stay in Manchester, he’ll have to fully capitulate.
With Paris Saint-Germain ready to step in, Rooney has options, one of which will not be Arsenal. Rooney’s wages alone, among the highest in the game, would take Arsenal out of the game without a huge concession, and even if that were to happen, United has little incentive to sell at a cut-rate to a league rival. They could just as easily use their leverage to force a move abroad. Arsenal may be willing to go well beyond the near-$23 million record fee they’ve paid for Andre Arshavin and Santi Cazorla, but their best will still come far short of PSG’s.
But far be it from logic and deduction to dissuade the hounds. Might as well cast a line and see if something bites. Hey Arsène, Wayne Rooney’s good, right?
From Al-Jazeera, as transcribed by The Guardian:
“Rooney could be an interesting player for everybody in the world, who would turn him down? … 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. It will be interesting to see how that will be handled.”
Who would turn that kids down? Other than Ferguson and Moyes, of course. Regardless, Wenger’s point holds. Ask him or any manger if they’d take Wayne Rooney, of course they would! And with that positive response, you’re got your tabloid-esque headline.
But goes that mean he’s going to Arsenal? No. No, it doesn’t.