Numerous reports are flying around about Manchester United with Wayne Rooney linked with a move China to play for his old boss Sven Goran Eriksson, while United’s current assistant manager and legendary former player, Ryan Giggs, is being touted as Swansea’s City’s potential new manager.
Whether or not these rumors are true, the bigger question here for me is: why would these two legendary figures ever consider leaving Old Trafford?
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Money could come into play for Rooney, 30, as the Daily Mail report that he could be paid $37.5 million per year in a three-year deal to join Shanghai SIPG and help raise the profile of the Chinese Super League (CSL). Sure, Rooney would pocket a boat load of cash and with other superstars such as David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard moving to Major Legaue Soccer in the twilight of their careers to do the same, is this any different?
You’d think that when, not if, Rooney breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record at United — he’s currently on 237 and Charlton’s record is 249 — then the England national team skipper may think about moving on. That said, he’s the captain of the Red Devils and leaving United and England behind could be a bit of a wrench for the family man who was born and raised in the North West of England and has remained there ever since.
However, with his form declining for United maybe it would be best for everyone that in the next year or so for Rooney to move on as his legend would remain before his play declines too rapidly and his legacy is damaged. Just a thought.
As for Giggs, 42, leaving his role as Louis Van Gaal‘s assistant and taking the reins at Swansea City, this is really interesting. Giggsy has spent his entire career at United, having made the most appearances (963) in club history and is the most decorated player in soccer history. Yet, there’s something to be said for the Welsh winger flying the nest and returning to his homeland and getting a head-coaching gig in the Premier League as the only experiencedhe has as the main man was a handful of games at the end of the 2013-14 season where he stood in on a caretaker basis for United following David Moyes‘ dismissal.
Swansea have given plenty of young managers a chance in the past — Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez, Garry Monk to name three — and their attacking philosophy suits Giggs down to the ground as a disciple of Sir Alex Ferguson.
If Giggs wants to return to United one day as the head coach, which he will do, then he may well gain a lot of experience by going out on his own and learning the ropes at a smaller club first. If LVG was to get fired next summer after a poor season or hand the reins to Giggs when his contract runs out in July 2017, you get the sense that without any previous head-coaching experience it may be too big of a job too soon for Giggs.
Rumors will continue to swirl, but when it comes to these two Manchester United legends it is not too far fetched to believe they could prosper from leaving the club in the not too distant future.