Chelsea and Manchester City are among the front-runners to sign Wayne Rooney this summer after further doubts about the Manchester United striker’s future surfaced this week.
Rooney was famously close to switching red for blue when he agitated for a move to City in October 2010, citing a perceived lack of ambition in the transfer market as motivation.
The former Everton man eventually made his peace and signed a new contract, but new reports have emerged suggesting that he lodged another transfer request two weeks ago.
It has been a frustrating campaign for Rooney, who has been asked to play out of position and was dropped for United’s huge Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
With Sir Alex Ferguson also announcing his retirement yesterday, Rooney is rumoured to be keen to seek a fresh challenge and Chelsea are a 3/1 chance to seal a sensational swoop for the 27-year-old this summer (you can see the entire market by clicking here).
The Blues’ need for a striker to support Fernando Torres and Demba Ba is well publicised and they certainly have the financial muscle to test United’s resolve with a mega bid.
Of course, the same can be said for City, who may well be tempted to move for Rooney again as Roberto Mancini looks to bolster a front line which could be decimated by the departure of Edin Dzeko.
The Citizens are a 9/1 chance to secure his signature, which means new bwin customers backing Rooney to join United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ with their free £20 bet would pocket winnings of £200 if successful.
David Moyes’ likely appointment as Ferguson’s successor is a further complication, as Rooney – who worked with the Scot during their time together at Everton – was sued by his former boss in April 2007 over claims the striker made in his autobiography.
Although the relationship between the pair is said to have improved in recent times, it is unclear whether Rooney will be comfortable with the prospect of playing under Moyes again.
The alternative view is that he could be persuaded to stay if he is central to Moyes’ plans and the club have insisted that he will not be sold, which is reflected by short odds of 4/5 on the England international still being a United player at the start of next season.
But if he does leave, big-spending Paris St-Germain (2/1) and Champions League finalists Bayern Munich (4/1) are likely to be vying with Chelsea and/or City for his services.
Further down the market, Rooney is 16/1 to join Real Madrid and 20/1 to move to Barcelona, with LA Galaxy (33/1), AC Milan (40/1), Juventus (50/1), Arsenal (66/1) and Everton (66/1) among the outsiders.