For those Manchester United fans who have started following the club since just a few years back, Wayne Rooney probably falls into the same legendary category as the outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson does.
However, when the England international handed his second transfer request in less than three years at the end of last season, the Old Trafford faithful were astounded and at the same time, developed a sense of loathing against Rooney.
The striker is reportedly fed up with the lack of playing time at United and presently, it's almost unreal to imagine Rooney donning the red jersey of Manchester next term.
However, even though Rooney desperately seeks a move away from the Theatre of Dreams, the circumstances that have arisen are such that the market for the player is surprisingly limited.
Hence, we analyze Rooney's transfer situation and where he could end up this summer.
Before we start talking about the potential destinations for Rooney, let's look at the financial package that a club will need to offer in order to lure the player.
Rooney is currently rumored to be earning £250,000 per-week and since the Englishman's next contract is probably going to be his last bumper deal as a footballer, he is unlikely to take a pay-cut.
United, on the other hand, will only consider offers worth more than at least £30 million pounds for Rooney. He is arguably their most prized asset and with David Moyes reportedly keen to hold on to the player, the Red Devils won't let him go for cheap.
Unfavorable Case for Arsenal and Bayern Munich
During in an interview almost a fortnight ago, Arsene Wenger admitted his interest in signing Rooney.
"Rooney could be an interesting player for everybody in the world, who would turn him down?" Wenger told Al Jazeera.
Moreover, a few days later the Gunners' chief executive Ivan Gazidis assured that Wenger will be given the financial backing to bring Rooney to the Emirates.
We could do that, we could do more than that," he said when asked whether Arsenal will able to match United's the players demands. Arsenal highest earners Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott earn about £100,000 per-week, but Wenger is ready to virtually shatter the club's wage structure to get Rooney.
However, will Rooney actually be worth it, considering Wenger can sign a younger and equally talented attacker with the same financial package.
The Frenchman has always insisted on paying the 'right price' for a player and by signing Rooney, he will break his own philosophy.
Arsenal's ambitions too could be questionably in the view of Rooney. Yes, their financial muscles have strengthened according to the club's heads but they are yet to actually put those words into action. Will the success-driven Rooney move from the champions of England to a team that considers the fourth place in the league a trophy? I doubt so.
For Bayern Munich, we will keep it short. The Bavarians distanced themselves with the rumors relating to Rooney a few weeks back via the club's sporting director Matthias Sammer, who stated that there had been no contact between the two parties. No concrete news has surfaced since then and with the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gomez (at-least till now) already among their ranks and many suggesting that Pep Guardiola might utilize Mario Gotze as a "False Nine", spending £30 million on Rooney will make little sense for the Champions League holders.
Unfavorable Case for Real Madrid and Manchester City
Manchester City have several reasons for not to purchase Rooney. He won't be an upgrade on their current lot (Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez) and the prospect of roping Edinson Cavani to the blue half of Manchester looks more tempting.
City meanwhile, being the United's most threatening rivals over the past two years, will have to table a ludicrous bid in order to persuade United to sell Rooney to them (probably equal to what they will have to pay for Cavani).
Rooney himself might not enjoy the idea of playing at the Etihad Stadium as he'll face heavy competition for the starting role and won't be guaranteed the playing time he seeks. Finally, although Rooney is adamant to leave United, would he actually want to join the club's archrivals and betray the fans who have loyally supported him over the past nine years?
Talking about Real Madrid, the La Liga giants are being presently linked with better talents available in the market, wiz, Cavani, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale and Rooney is clearly not at the top of their priority list.
AS Monaco- Impossible to see Rooney playing for a club not in the Champions League next season, no matter how interesting their apparent 'project' might sound.
FC Barcelona- Rooney is not technically talented enough to play in the 'tiki-taka' system, while the Catalans have already purchased Neymar, who can lead the attack in place of Lionel Messi if the need be.
Favorable Case for Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea
Chelsea currently have three strikers in their squad- Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku, with latter assured of first-team football for the next season by Jose Mourinho. However, the Blues are still on the lookout for a proven goal-scorer.
Cavani was their priority signing but with their latest offer of €52 million getting rebuffed by Napoli, the former European champions have abandoned their pursuit of the Uruguay international. Chelsea have shown interest in Robert Lewandowski but if the Borussia Dortmund striker rejects a move to the Stamford Bridge, Mourinho can make a swoop for Rooney and hand him the striker role that he covets.
Even though United will be unwilling to sell Rooney to one of their domestic rivals, the case is a little different from that of City. Roman Abramovich can easily meet United's financial requirements if Rooney tries to push for the move.
Moreover, 'Wazza' is likely to be in favor of plying trades at the Stamford Bridge as he could find the prospect of working under Mourinho exciting, while he'll also be playing with his 'best friend in football', Ashley Cole. Not to forget, he will attract relatively less anguish from the United fans if he joins Chelsea rather than City.
Whereas, a transfer to French champions PSG also looks viable for Rooney.
Money won't be an issue and last month, former PSG advisor Michael Moulin even went on to claim that a deal had already been agreed, saying, "I announce to you from trusted sources—Rooney to PSG is done. He will be at PSG next season.”
Rooney can partner with Zlatan Ibrahimovic to form a devastating attack and if United want to cash in on Rooney, PSG are their safest bet.
It's hard to predict where Rooney will play next season but PSG and Chelsea are the prime favorites to get his signature.
A week ago, Goal.com revealed that Rooney held talks with two unnamed clubs on the same day- one a Premier League outfit, other a 'continental big-hitter'. They could be PSG and Chelsea but frankly, one can only wait and see how and when this transfer saga eventually ends.