Rooney out of Man United squad vs. Anderlecht

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Wayne Rooney is out of Manchester United’s UEFA Europa League quarterfinal first leg clash at Anderlecht on Thursday.

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

Rooney, 31, has not traveled with the squad who flew out to Belgium on Wednesday ahead of the key encounter.

Even though he trained on Wednesday morning with the rest of the team, it is believed that Rooney is still suffering from pain in both of his ankles as the United captain has not played since Apr. 1 in the draw with West Bromwich Albion.

However, there are conflicting reports that Rooney was expecting to travel with the squad for what is perhaps their biggest game of the season to date given what it is on the line. Per Sky Sports, United’s all-time leading goalscorer is said to be “disappointed” that he didn’t travel with the team and was deemed not fit enough to take part.

Speaking in his prematch press conference, Mourinho had the following to say when asked about Rooney.

With Manchester United struggling to finish in the top four of the Premier League and qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Mourinho has targeted winning the Europa League and clinching qualification to the UCL via that route.

Back to Rooney, and this news may well confirm what we’ve known for a while: he doesn’t have a future at United beyond this season.

His talent is undoubted but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (the veteran Swede has 28 goals this season), Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan around, he’s no longer the main man at Old Trafford.

Expect those Rooney transfer links to Everton, the Chinese Super League and Major League Soccer to be fired up again very, very soon…