Chinese Super League

Wayne Rooney’s agent in Beijing to discuss Chinese Super League switch, say reports

Manchester United captain did not travel with the squad for Europa League match as media reports in Britain link the forward with a multi-million pound move

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 10:25am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 10:28pm

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney did not travel with the squad for Wednesday’s Europa League last 32, second leg at St Etienne as media reports in Britain continue to link the forward with a multi-million pound move to the Chinese Super League.

Several British media outlets have linked the 31-year-old with a move away from United with his agent, Paul Stretford, said to have flown to Beijing in order to engineer a lucrative switch before the Chinese transfer window closes on February 28.

One potential destination for Rooney is Beijing Guoan, who have been ominously quiet in their winter transfer dealings so far.

A potential move to the Far East for United’s record goalscorer has been the source of ongoing rumour for weeks, but the latest development suggests club manager Jose Mourinho may have given the green light for a transfer.

Asked about Rooney’s future on Tuesday, Mourinho said he did not want the striker to leave but said the decision was in the player’s hands.

“You have to ask him,” said the Portuguese coach. “I can’t guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that the player is here next season?

Wayne Rooney is not going to China, says Jose Mourinho – at least not this season

“What I can guarantee is that if Wayne one day leaves the club it is not because I want him to leave the club, that’s the only thing I can guarantee.

“I would never push, or try to push, a legend of this club to another destiny.

Rooney has seen his playing time heavily restricted in recent weeks as United’s form has seen a huge upswing.

A sticking point in any potential move to China could be Rooney’s destination. Newly introduced rules on the number of foreigners allowed in the matchday squad for CSL teams substantially reduce the options for a move, with many of the League’s teams oversubscribed with foreign players before the sudden announcement was made by the Chinese FA.

Rooney could substantially increase his salary with a move to the CSL. Last month, Carlos Tevez signed a deal with Shanghai SIPG which is reportedly earning him almost €800,000 per week (HK$6.55 million).

Additional reporting: Reuters