Wayne Rooney’s days at Manchester United are looking more and more numbered, with The Independent understanding the forward’s lack of interest in committing his future to the club is beginning to irk the big dogs in the dressing room.
The Red Devils rejected a second bid of £25m plus add-ons from Chelsea on Sunday evening and in light of the way the market is going they could easily demand double that before granting him passage.
In the summertime of 2013 fees dwarfing the magnitude of Chelsea’s latest offer for the England man have swollen the coffers of Atletico Madrid and Napoli for Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani respectively.
Both players of a similar vintage to Rooney – 16/1 to be top Premier League goalscorer in 2013/14 – but neither can be seen to be a player of double his worth based on their career exploits.
In nine seasons at Old Trafford the irrepressible Liverpudlian has never failed – despite the intervention of numerous injuries – to notch at least 16 times for his club across all competitions, surpassing 20 goals four times and 30 twice.
Such a prolonged contribution testifies to the fact that teams have yet to work out a way of stopping him even after nine years in the limelight.
Getting on the scoresheet is far from his sole use either as he works tirelessly for his team both defensively in terms of pressing and by serving up goals for his hungry colleagues, with 13 assists in combined Premier League and Champions League action last term.
Rooney – 7/10 to be a Chelsea player by the close of the transfer window – outscored £55m hair-band advocate Cavani in 2011/12 and might have done so again last term had Alex Ferguson not handed him the second fiddle following the arrival of new maestro Robin Van Persie.
Like Cavani, Radamel Falcao is a striker with a fearsome goals-to-games ratio across a few campaigns in one of Europe’s best leagues, but again his efforts for Atletico don’t leave the England striker’s 2011/12 campaign in the dust and neither player can be said to create anywhere near the goals Rooney does for his teammates.
Luis Suarez is another striker likely to trade in the £50m-plus bracket if his morbidly boring impasse with Liverpool’s inflated sense of self-worth is ever resolved, but he has still only posted one deeply impressive season in a top European league.
Whilst the purpose of the above statements is not to denigrate the brilliant recent campaigns of undoubtedly top class footballers, there is perhaps some discrepancy between the fees on their heads and the kind of money which Chelsea clearly feel is in the right ball park when it comes to Rooney.