In a move that has gone mainly under the radar of most of the media this weekend, it has emerged that FIFA are looking at re-wording their article 17, which previously meant that a player could buy himself out of his contract, but there were a raft of conditions that made it almost an impossibility to comply.
There was a previous case where a player went from Hibernian to Wigan by buying out his contract and leaving for free, however, that loophole was quickly closed by FIFA rule makers.
In their new reworking of their article 17 rule, it would mean that a player who is 28 or over, in at least the third year of his contract, he can buy himself out of the final year by paying the value of his wages in that final year. In essence, as Rooney will be earning £240,000 a week by that stage, he would have to fork out around £12m of his own money, but he would then be a free agent and would surely make double that from any deal.
Sir Alex has made clear that Rooney will be offered a new contract in the summer, but will he want to play in midfield, if as expected, United sign striker Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund?
It is hard to believe that a club like Manchester United would allow such a thing to happen, but if the player feels aggrieved enough about his stature at the club and the positions he is being expected to play, he might well consider his options. We will not know until (a) United sing Lewandowski and (b) whether Rooney signs a new contract.