Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney has been linked with a sensational move to join the Chinese revolution currently sweeping the world of soccer.
Tha Daily Mirror says United have been offered $38.5million by an unnamed Chinese club to sign the England captain at the end of the season on a three-year deal.
That figure is close to the figure United paid for Rooney in 2004 when he was a prodigious 18-year-old striker with Everton.
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Rooney would receive an incredible $712,000 a week and become the face of the Chinese Super League which has seen a massive influx of players from Europe on the back of a massive TV deal.
The offer is thought to have come from Shanghai Shenhua, coached by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who recently said: "Sooner or later, we are going to see names like [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi and Rooney in this league - players on this level."
Alex Teixeira, Ramires (both Jiangsu Suning), Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande), Gervinho and Ezequiel Lavezzi (both Hebei China Fortune) and Fredy Guarin (Shanghai Shenhua) are some of the big-name players who have made the move to the Far East in the last couple of months.
Rooney, currently out of action for six weeks with a knee injury, has two years left to run on his contract, but with many fans disaffected by performances under Louis van Gaal the time could be right for United to cash in on a player whose value will diminish significantly as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.
The big questions are these; Would Rooney want to uproot his family to China for the next three years ($106million may just persuade him)? And what’s his Mandarin like?
Rooney has turned down chances to join both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the past, and when he handed in a transfer request in August 2010 over his unhappiness with United’s ambition following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the previous year, it was thought he was about to join hated rivals Manchester City.
However, just as it looked as though Rooney was leaving, the club announced their prize asset had signed a new five-year deal which made him one of the best-paid players in the Premier League. Sometimes hard cash can help sweeten the blow of those high-profile exits.
Già siamo 10 milioni! Grazie a tutti i miei follower nel mondo. RT per vincere una maglietta che ho usato in campo con il #10 del @ManUtd!
As for Rooney’s language skills maybe we should leave the last word with former England coach Fabio Capello who said his former charge didn’t understand his tactical discussions. The Italian joked: "He doesn’t understand English".