Whilst a controversial red card shown to Nani overshadowed Manchester United’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, perhaps the most newsworthy item to emerge from the clash was actually the omission of Wayne Rooney.
In what was arguably United’s biggest match at Old Trafford in five years, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to leave the globally-renowned forward on the bench, surprising almost everyone.
Rooney’s wife Colleen was amongst those flabbergasted, tweeting “I can’t believe @waynerooney isn’t starting tonight.”
And the former Everton star’s failure to begin the match could be the clearest indication yet that he is set to depart United this summer, with Ladbrokes cutting him to 5/2 to be sold during the next transfer window.
It is the same price he never turns out for the Red Devils in European competition again meanwhile, whilst 4/1 is available regarding Ferguson being the one to leave Old Trafford this summer.
There are lingering thoughts that the legendary Scotsman has grown tired of concerns regarding Rooney’s conditioning, and is now ready to cash in considering the player has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current contract.
Roy Keane indeed suggested that the writing may be on the wall for Rooney, and perhaps his opinion on the matter deserves more credence than most.
This is in light of Keane once being an integral part of United, before being readily dispatched after crossing Ferguson.
There are other past examples that seem to suggest Rooney could be headed for the Old Trafford exit also, with David Beckham perhaps the most prominent.
In 2003, Beckham’s failure to make the starting line-up against Real was a prelude to the superstar England captain making a move to the Spanish giants that summer.
And Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s exclusion from United’s 2006 Carling Cup Final team came prior to the Dutchman leaving for pastures new the following close-season.
The situation regarding Rooney’s non-inclusion on such a huge night appears eerily similar to these past instances, and the 27-year-old may consider his future, if no longer an automatic starter for the biggest of Red Devils games.
As rumours persist that PSG are preparing to launch a £40m bid for the attacker, the chances of the moneybags French outfit landing Rooney suddenly appear much brighter, and they are 3/1 favourites to be his next club.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.