Old Trafford striker linked with move to La Liga giants.
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LONDON — Sir Alex Ferguson’s latest snub to Wayne Rooney has fuelled fresh speculation that the Manchester United superstar could be heading for the Old Trafford exit.
Ferguson left Rooney on the bench for Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion, where the Red Devils squandered a two-goal lead as the Baggies fought back to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Ferguson did not comment about the decision to omit Rooney, a move that followed speculation of a rift after the striker last week contradicted the United boss’s claims he was injured by stating he was fully fit.
It came after an earlier decision to drop Rooney for his return to Everton in September, which followed lurid tabloid revelations about the 24-year-old England international’s private life.
Since then Rooney has been in and out of the United starting line-up and looking like only a pale imitation of the potent attacking force who was crowned the Footballer of the Year last season.
The Sunday Mirror reported Sunday that relations between Ferguson and Rooney had broken down and that the United boss would seek to sell their prized asset in the January transfer window, with Real Madrid seen as the front-runner.
Club insiders quoted by the newspaper said Rooney was slowly being “frozen out”, comparing the present situation to the circumstances leading up to the departure of David Beckham from United to Real Madrid in 2003.
Negotiations over an extension to Rooney’s 100,000-pounds (160,000-dollars) a week contract, which has only another 18 months to run, have also stalled, the paper reported.
Other commentators meanwhile said Rooney was playing with fire by contradicting Ferguson’s claims that he was nursing an ankle injury.
“At best it was naive for him not to see that contradicting Ferguson would be seen as provocative,” Paul Hayward wrote in The Observer.
“At worst he was asserting his independence as part of a scheme to leave Old Trafford for Real Madrid.” (AFP)
Some sources are speculating that Real Madrid will make an offer of around £75m for the Old Trafford striker and some sources state that there is no truth in the rumour that Sir Alex Ferguson has fallen out with Wayne Rooney. It seems however that all is not well with the England international’s relationship with his Man United boss, hence his sitting on the bench yesterday.
The fact that the 24 year old stated in a recent interview that he was not injured at any point this season contradicted claims from Ferguson to the contrary and the recent allegations involving the use of prostitutes have also taken their toll.
Clearly the most important factor in all of this is that Rooney has not played very well at all this season. He has managed just one goal this season, and that from the penalty spot, at this point last season he had already scored seven.
Whilst a move to the Bernabeu may seem to be unlikely at this point if his relationship with Fergie continues to worsen then who knows what might happen.
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