On any other day, news that Wayne Rooney is reportedly angling for a move away from Manchester United would have dominated national media headlines across all platforms.
But such was the magnitude of the response to Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Rooney’s declaration that he is ready to leave Old Trafford has been lost in the shuffle somewhat.
However, the news has peaked the interest of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has personally sanctioned a £30m swoop for the United forward, in an attempt to block Bayern Munich’s efforts to further strengthen their star-studded ranks.
Abramovich has long admired Rooney, though in the past there seemed little scope to the idea of the forward swapping Old Trafford for Stamford Bridge.
After outlining his desire to leave the Red Devils though, it is now plausible to suggest that the 27-year-old could make a sensational switch across the Premier League, and it is 6/1 that he lines up as a Chelsea player next term.
Rooney is thought to have confided his feelings to Ferguson within the past fortnight, declaring unhappiness at consistently being played out of position, and citing a need for fresh surroundings as a means to re-ignite his dwindling form.
And although Ferguson is believed to have reassured the England star that his future lies with the 20-time English champions, United’s impending appointment of David Moyes may prove the final straw for Rooney, who was blooded at Everton by the former Preston chief.
The pair’s relationship is strained to say the least, and Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford looks set to serve only as another factor for Rooney to seriously consider his future, though he remains favoured at 11/8 to begin next season as a United player.
Initially, a move to Bayern looked to be the player’s sole preference, and he is 3/1 to join the Bavarian giants this summer, but Chelsea’s strong-willed pursuit of his signature has forced Rooney to weigh up his options.
The prospect of remaining in English football appeals to Rooney, as does the potential to be employed as a line-leading striker, should Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge materialise.
Should Abramovich get his way, Rooney’s Stamford Bridge arrival will coincide with Mourinho’s, combining to deliver a clear statement of intent to their Premier League title rivals next term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.