Roy Hodgson has voiced concerns regarding the constant speculation linking Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney with a move to Chelsea, with England’s midweek friendly against old foes Scotland bringing the want-away forward together with close friend and Blues’ full-back Ashley Cole.
The Three Lions are 19/50 favourites to beat Gordon Strachan’s men at Wembley on Wednesday and while the England manager accepts that Rooney and Cole will discuss the possible switch, with crucial international fixtures coming up, Hodgson is hoping the transfer furore surrounding the striker will be settled quickly so he can get back to doing what he does best – scoring goals.
The Old Trafford forward’s record in World Cup qualifying matches is formidable, with 14 of his 28 competitive international goals coming at this stage of proceedings and with Hodgson having to weigh up his options up front as Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge come back from injury, Rooney will again be relied upon to blast England towards a major tournament.
With Robin van Persie blocking his route into the United first team, the former Everton wunderkind could struggle for game time if he stays in the north west and a move to Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window – which can be backed at 7/10 – could be Hodgson’s preferred destination for the striker.
The former Fulham boss needs Rooney at his best for the home game against Moldova on September 6th before the crunch tie with Ukraine four days later in Kiev and is also set to hand an international debut to 31-year-old Southampton forward Rickie Lambert, with new United winger Wilfried Zaha given another chance to impress against the Tartan Army after promotion from the under 21s.