Old Trafford boss pursuing controversial move for Anfield hero.
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The question of whether Rooney will play for United again is in some doubt. The player was carried from a Carrington training pitch with another ankle injury yesterday and will not play against Bursaspor in the Champions League at Old Trafford tonight.
The search is already under way for a replacement, with United fans likely to view the non-replacement of another totemic player as incontrovertible proof that the Glazers do not have the money to invest. United have already begun making discreet inquiries about Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, who is hugely disillusioned at Anfield and now ready to leave, possibly as early as January – when it would also make most financial sense for Rooney to be sold.
Liverpool’s new American owners have spelt out that they are not willing to pay inordinate wages and United may be ready to make an initial bid in January. Ferguson was interested in Torres before Rafael Benitez signed him in 2007 and the manager’s renewed plans may explain why he was so furious about his comments on Torres feigning injury being translated into “cheat” headlines after United’s 3-2 win over Liverpool on 19 September. Ferguson has not held a Friday press conference since.
That furore occurred over a month after a telephone call on 14 August in which Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, told United chief executive, David Gill, that the player wanted to leave – just as Ferguson was beginning to consider a move for the 26-year-old Torres. First indications are that Liverpool may be willing to let Torres leave and that the club’s new owners, John W Henry and Tom Werner, who have not been averse to their baseball stars leaving for potential rivals, may be ready to apply the same rationale at Anfield. (Independent)
Such a move would indeed be unlikely, unless of course Fernando Torres is willing to take the crown of most hated individual in Merseyside from current recipients Messrs Hicks and Gillett. One can see why Sir Alex Ferguson would consider such a move, the Spaniard has been a startling success since his move to the Premier League and even a poor patch of recent form can not detract from his obvious ability, a statement you could of course use to describe a certain Wayne Rooney.
Regardless of the intention Manchester United have to snap up the 26 year old any move would surely be shunned by Anfield’s new owners for a number of reasons, the most important of which would be the fact that without ‘El Nino’ there chances of finding the net would plummet.
Ferguson needs to look for replacements though and of all the names banded about, most of which are based on the continent, Torres has already shown he can do it on English soil and that is key. Of those options available to the Old Trafford boss, how many other strikers currently plying their trade in the Premier League are realistic targets AND know where the back of the net is? Carlos Tevez, unlikely. Didier Drogba, very unlikely? Maybe then he would look for a less fashionable option? Darren Bent, not a bad call, still young and able to score at will, especially against top notch opposition.
Either way whilst Fergie would love to snap up Fernando Torres, not just for the resultant anger it would produce among Liverpool supporters, such a move seems undoubtedly out of the question.