In a classic `under the radar` move Wayne Rooney has deleted the status of his twitter account from Manchester United Player, to Nike Athlete. In isolation, this may seem an innocent move, but with the rampant speculation over his future, it fuels the view that he is on his way out of Old Trafford.
It has emerged that Rooney had a unofficial discussion with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, just before he announced his retirement. Whilst the two announcements cannot be linked in any way, it is a distraction that Manchester United could have well done without, having to deal with the replacement of their long term manager.
Once David Moyes appointment has been announced, and it should be today, attention will inevitably turn to Wayne Rooney. Of course, he has previous in this sort of thing. In 2010, he threatened to quit and even put in a formal transfer request. On that occasion he felt that the club were not making any substantial transfer signings; a comment he subsequently withdrew after high level talks with Sir Alex to set out his vision for the future of the club. He subsequently signed a new 5 year deal. That deal runs out in 2 years’ time in 2015.
Things are different this time around, with Rooney putting in some below par performances this season. He has made it clear that he does not see himself as a midfielder, but his performance as striker has been getting ever more erratic. There is an irony that he complained about United's ambition, yet when they signed Robin Van Persie, it was Rooney who was shunted into midfield to make way. His body language at times this season has given away that of someone who is not happy with their lot. Maybe it really is time for a new challenge.
One thing is for certain; United will not sell to Chelsea under any circumstances. They will however, accept a deal around £40m, so that limits the potential suitors. Bayern Munich have made some comments via their media that they would be prepared to bid for Rooney, however, there is an even better chance of a deal with Real Madrid for Ronaldo. He also wants to leave and his deal also runs out in 2015. He has stated that he will NOT sign a new deal.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Ronaldo could arrive at Old Trafford as Rooney leaves for Madrid. It is on record that David Moyes, the next United manager is Ronaldo`s biggest fan. United certainly have the funds, especially if that deal includes Rooney going the other way.
A lot of things should be sorted out in the next 48 hours at Old Trafford.