He may be into his thirties but Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney remains hot property in the footballing world, and it appears a switch to China could be on the agenda in the coming months.
Manchester Evening News reporter Samuel Luckhurst broke the story that an unnamed Chinese Super League club had made “an incredible offer” for the Manchester United captain, one that the Red Devils’ hierarchy want to accept.
The stumbling block appears to be that the Premier League outfit will not let their main man leave without having a suitable replacement lined up.
However, with figures of £100m being bandied about (though they will undoubtedly include Rooney’s wages) the bookies are offering 8/1 that United decide that the summer is the best time to cash in on the striker.
If those astronomical figures are separate from the potential wages heading Rooney’s way, there could be an outside chance that the world transfer record is in danger.
As unlikely as it is, Ladbrokes are offering 20/1 that the Chinese club surpass the £85m paid by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale to bring Rooney to the Far East.
Another stumbling block could be the difference in the season schedules between the Premier League and the Chinese Super League.
While the English top flight hurtles towards a dramatic conclusion, the Asian competition won’t begin until next month.
Therein lies a problem. The Chinese transfer window is set to close at the end of February, meaning that a deal would have to be in place in the next couple of weeks.
But with United unable to sign anyone until the summer, they are unlikely to want to let their star man go when they have an important scrap for the Champions League places on their hands.
What’s more, with the Euros on the horizon, moving to China now would mean Rooney would be afforded no let up with a busy schedule on the horizon.
Far more likely is that if a deal is to be done, it will be agreed this month with a stipulation that the Manchester United man stays where he is until after the Euro Championships.
And with Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record in his sight, there is reason to believe that the man himself wouldn’t want to leave with that unfinished business.
Nevertheless, the surge of players moving to China looks set to continue in the coming months, and the odds say that the suggestion of Rooney following suit is far from complete fabrication.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.