Wayne Rooney will meet David Moyes tomorrow to discuss his Manchester United future, and ahead of that, two new reports have arrived in the English press concerning his future.
The first comes from the Telegraph, and is headlined "Chelsea prepare to offer £20m for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney." Therein, the story explains that there is "no doubt he is open" to leaving United, and several other clubs, among them Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, will also wait around to make their moves. There's a lot of steam and fluff backing up the report, and it doesn't go into too many specifics, but the fact that the situation currently sits at a crossroads - rather than a new contract being a formality and this being a negotiating tactic - is clear.
Onto the Mirror - this is backed up with even less, and has even vaguer language. They claim that David Moyes will offer Rooney the assurances to stay at United - namely, guaranteeing him that he won't be dropped for big games or left out of the team. If this is true, it's horrible, wretched, rancid stuff. The problem with Rooney is that he kicks up such a fuss whenever he's deservedly left out of the team that he becomes undroppable no matter how bad he plays.
In his first real stinking run of form, he could barely trap the ball and was frequently the worst player on the pitch, seemingly acting as an opposition defender, and yet Ferguson bafflingly refused to ever leave him out of the team or even substitute him. Those were the worst days of Rooney's career, and we don't want them back. If Rooney is to stay, it has to be on his own merits, not just because he's a big name and earning a lot.
One curious feature, actually, is the line at the end - "it is believed the club are in no hurry to open negotiations." That seems at odds with what's printed above - that United and Moyes want to keep hold of Rooney. If that were true, surely we'd thrash things out as quickly as possible? The longer it goes on, the stronger Rooney's negotiating position is. Perhaps we really haven't decided what to do yet and are holding out to see if a decent bid from abroad comes in. This is all getting very peculiar.
Tomorrow, if this meeting goes ahead, there'll be plenty more stories published in the evening, and once again they'll be contradictory. Why? Because among the general well-sourced reports purporting to know exactly what happened, there'll also be agent-briefed ones being circulated to spin whatever happened into one favourable for Rooney, or just plain lie. We'll see what form they take tomorrow. So far, it's not looking clear at all where or if he'll go, but it is looking absolutely certain that the possibliity exists.