Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has revealed that MLS franchises are monitoring Wayne Rooney’s future at Manchester United.
The 30-year-old is currently an important part of Jose Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford, but it remains to be seen where he ends up later in his career.
According to The Sun, United will not offer him an extension for at least another 18 months, which in turn could open a window of opportunity for interested parties to attempt to convince Rooney to leave Manchester.
Timbers owner Paulson has revealed that MLS clubs are already keeping a close eye on matters, and he believes that the ‘big dollars’ there could persuade Rooney to make the move across the Atlantic.
“I would argue he still has some good soccer ahead of him. I think he would be a great signing for MLS, 100 per cent MLS would be attractive for him.
“I get excited about the impact he would have in the MLS more than a guy who is coming later in his career. The MLS is offering significant money. There were conversations with some guys who are as big a name as Rooney recently.
“Orlando City had some high profile discussions with some players, guys in his age range. There are some big-dollar numbers that have been put out.
“China is a factor, but also players need to determine where they want to play and what is going to be the best for their legacy and lifestyle, where they want to live. I think America compares really favourably, I wouldn’t want to play soccer in Beijing right now. I am not saying that because I don’t like China but the air quality issue is something they have to deal with in sport which requires fitness.”
Rooney turns 31 later this year and has four years remaining on his current deal with United as per The Sun, but with so many players now making the move from Europe to either USA or China, it will likely be a conversation that he has with the club and his family in the coming years.
With the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo currently playing in MLS, the draw and infrastructure is already in place. While Paulson insists that there is big money in that part of the world, it arguably doesn’t compare to what China could offer though as has been seen with a number of high-profile and expensive transfers over the last nine months.
It’s not something that Rooney will likely have to think about in the immediate future, but it’s certainly interesting to know that MLS sides believe that they edging closer to being in a position to get him to make the move.