Rooney failed to travel with the United squad to Sweden for tonight’s pre-season friendly against Stockholm and, although he has suffered a genuine shoulder “knock”, the injury is not particularly severe.
His omission from the match follows fresh talks with Moyes, his manager, over recent days in which Rooney made it clear that he was disillusioned and felt that, after nine years and 197 goals, he had reached the end of the road at United
Chelsea had a second bid of £25 million rejected on Sunday night and are now expected to raise their offer to £30 million. Arsenal also retain a genuine interest. Rooney would prefer to move to an English club and is particularly attracted by the possibility of working under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. Rooney has yet to submit a formal transfer request but that remains a strong possibility.
While Chelsea lead the chase for Rooney, Arsenal should not be ruled out. Though most attracted by a move to Stamford Bridge, he would give their London rivals serious consideration and it is conceivable that United would rather do business with Arsène Wenger than Mourinho. Along with Manchester City, Chelsea are regarded as United’s principal rivals for the Premier League title and it could be considered less risky to sell Rooney to Arsenal. It is understood that the Rooney situation is beginning to cause tensions in the dressing room, but United remain adamant that they will not sell at any price.
Rooney’s chances of being allowed to leave United have not been helped by the club’s failure to land any of their main transfer targets. They are still trying to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona and are preparing a third bid of £35 million. However, Arsenal have an option to re-sign the midfielder and Wenger has already made inquiries about him.