[UPDATE: Corrected Higuain's stats]
Since it seems likely Rooney is leaving (I still hold a small amount of hope things can be rectified)seemed like fun to take a look at the bookies and see what they think. Remember, the numbers are for entertainment purposes only:
According to this site, Betfred (interestingly enough, a sponsor of Manchester United) is offering the following odds on who Sir Alex buys to replace Wayne Rooney (no, they don't offer a bet on United keeping the money to pay down their debts):
- Fernando Torres (4/1): The Liverpool striker is supposedly unhappy with the situation at Anfield and wants out. However, his form isn't much better than Rooney's at the present. I do think he would link up well with Dimitar Berbatov and provide an interesting partner for both Federico Macheda and Javier Hernandez.
- Karim Benzema (5/1): Karim Benzema has been a target of Sir Alex in the past, but he faces his own sex allegations. At 22, he has many years of service left and has the potential to become a world class striker just like Wayne Rooney.
Gonzalo Higuaín (10/1): This kid really impressed me at the World Cup. He had a hat trick against South Korea. He also scored in Argentina's win over Mexico.
Unfortunately, that success hasn't really transferred over to his club, as he's only scored 10 or more goals 1 time in 8 professional seasons. However, this season, he's on 5 goals in 10 games.Now that I have the correct stats (thanks for pointing that out, Scott), I made a nifty little chart to make up for it. This kid is a goal scoring machine and would probably work well with any of the strikers United currently have.
Lionel Messi (20/1): These are long shots for a reason. It would cost all of Rooney's transfer funds and then some before Barcelona will want to sell him.
Diego Forlán (25/1): This would be a nice grab for United. He's familiar with the surroundings, having spent 4 years without much success (outside of the winner against Chelsea and a double away to Anfield). He signed with Villareal the same month United signed Rooney.
- Carlos Tévez (33/1): The longest shot offered...and for good reason. I think he's a good player, but I don't really want him back at United.
Where do the bookies have Rooney going? Check it out after the jump:
All of these odds were taken from this source.
MANCHESTER CITY (9/4):
The first of the three teams I think could actually afford Rooney and his demands, it also appears the most likely destination for a couple of reasons.
For one, Wayne bought property in Prestbury and had his own mansion built. Secondly, he's a local, growing up just 45 minutes away in Liverpool. Lastly, it appears he and Coleen are trying to work things out and she's doesn't want to be far from her 12 year old sister who is said to be seriously ill.
REAL MADRID (9/5):
The only real possibility for Wayne Rooney outside of England, I think. They have the money to buy him outright, but they could do a cash+player deal with the players they have laying around. Obviously, it would re-unite him with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and give them a chance to rediscover old success under the direction of Jose Mourinho.
With Rooney's form somewhat off right now (though it can certainly improve by January), he likely wouldn't feature right away with Real, which they can accomplish with a pretty deep bench. However, if Real spend a lot of money to get Rooney, he'll be under pressure from the supporters to feature soon and they'll be quite vocal if he doesn't perform to their expectations.
I think this is the least likely destination on the 'Favorites' list. Their club debt is 58% of it's overall value, so there's likely little funds with which to draw from . Add to the fact that if Rooney is leaving Manchester United due to it's financial problems, it's doubtful he'd want to join a club in the midst of their own financial problems.
We Ain't Got No History talks about the possibility of Wayne Rooney moving to Chelsea.
The last of the three clubs that can likely afford him, he would be surrounded by an already successful squad with yearly title ambitions. It would be a good fit for Coleen as well, as she attempts to get her TV acting career off the ground and she'd still be reasonably close to her sister. Wayne would likely be the spearhead of a new generation of Blues as players like Terry and Lampard are phased out and youngsters like Daniel Sturridge and Jack McEachran step up.
Bayern Munich (12/1): I really have no idea what the connection is to Munich, but I think he'd fit into their lineup pretty well.
AC Milan & Inter Milan (20/1): I don't really follow Italian football that closely, but I'd have to imagine that both AC and Inter are hurt by the current economic conditions, which are hitting southern Europe especially hard.
Arsenal (40/1): A good fit for Coleen for the same reasons as Chelsea, though I don't think Wayne would do very well in Arsene Wenger's system and I'm not sure Rooney knows what a "passing triangle" is anyhow.
- Everton (100/1): I made the joke during the Aston Villa match when the cameras showed Sir Alex sitting two seats down from David Moyes that perhaps Moyes was offering his soul for Rooney. I still don't think that'd be enough of an offer.
What do you think? Who's your dream buy with the kitty Sir Alex gets for Wayne? Need an account? Click here and set one up!