Wayne Rooney is “on the brink” of exiting Manchester United, according to reports.
Rooney, 31, has lost his place in United’s first team this season under new manager Jose Mourinho despite expectations that he would stay until the end of the current campaign.
According to The Times, when the season concludes in May Rooney will leave for the Chinese Super League, an increasingly popular destination of choice for Europe’s top footballers.
But the CSL transfer window is open until February 28, giving Rooney an opportunity to leave Old Trafford ahead of schedule, something The Mirror reports he will accept.
Speaking to reporters including The Guardian before United’s UEFA Europa League round of 32, second leg against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, Mourinho refused to offer assurances on Rooney’s future.
“You have to ask him [Rooney]. Of course I can’t guarantee he will still be here next season,” Mourinho said.
“I cannot guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season? What I can guarantee is that, if one day Wayne leaves the club, it is not because I want him to leave the club. I would never push a legend of this club to another destiny. You have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or sees himself moving.”
United takes a 3-0 lead to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard as it seeks progression in Europe’s second-tier club competition.Try Newsweek: Subscription offers