Mourinho wants Rooney - and Manchester United star is likely to leave

Michael Regan

José Mourinho is reportedly keen on signing Wayne Rooney from Manchester United in the summer, and his confidence could be well-placed.

José Mourinho wants to wait until the summer to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, according to reports in England.

If Manchester United don't make the top four - as looks increasingly likely - then will Rooney stay? Whatever happens, United are unlikely to conjure up a title challenge, and Rooney has thrown a strop over the team playing far less poorly before.

In addition, when Rooney previously threw his toys out of the pram with a transfer request, he had two years remaining on his deal, not one. And that was under Alex Ferguson, not David Moyes - a man with whom Rooney had not yet fallen out, had far more reason to be loyal to, and who was a much safer bet at pushing the club onwards.

The only thing going for Rooney to stay at United is that he may be reluctant to move abroad if United won't sell to rivals, and that other clubs might be unwilling to pay his extravagant wages. It's been suggested that United have offered him a new contract on the same £250,000 per week wages he's on now - which is absolutely crazy if true - and the likes of Chelsea may not be willing to match that.

Despite that, it's hard to see Rooney carrying on at United. Having one year left on his contract will put him in a strong negotiating position, and he may not be willing to stay around at a club that he perceives to be on the wane. The prospect of a United summer spending spree would soften the blow of losing a player to one of our rivals, but it could also be the incentive Rooney needs to stay around.

We should all find something distasteful in the idea that any spending will partly be to keep a man who has handed in at least one, possibly two transfer requests happy. It's possible that United could be his best offer in terms of pure money, but then Chelsea are paying a hefty amount for Samuel Eto'o, whose contract will expire at the end of the season, and if they really are desperate for Rooney they're probably not going to flinch at replacing Eto'o's deal with slightly more for a superior player.

It might not also be a bad idea for us - freeing up more money and getting rid of a player who, while in good form, has a history of inconsistency and long troughs of form. It'll be interesting to monitor this one to see how it goes - United have been said to be 'relaxed' about the prospect of his contract running down, but that doesn't make too much sense. If Rooney was perfectly willing to negotiate then one would imagine the deal would have been wrapped up by now, but it's not even close. Perhaps he won't get to break that record after all.

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