Wayne Rooney
Rooney has been targeted by Real Madrid. REUTERS

If rumors are to be believed, then the world of European club football could be in for a shock. Apparently, Manchester United strikre and talisman Wayne Rooney is making a surprise exit this summer, to join Spanish club Real Madrid in a big-money move. Madrid is reportedly set to offer £55 million for the England international.

According to Spanish media, Madrid is drawing up a list of 10 transfer targets to be pursued over the coming January window and the forthcoming summer break. Rooney is high on that list as a primary target.

Real Madrid boss, Jose Mourinho, has always been a great admirer of Rooney and is also thought to have had talks with Florentino Perez, Madrid's President, over bringing Rooney to the Santiago Bernabeu, particularly since talks of Santos' Brazilian wunderkind Neymar recently broke down.

It is, however, extremely unlikely that United will let Rooney, 26, leave, considering he is the club's primary goal scoring threat, according to a footylatest.com report.

Wayne Mark Rooney, who came to United from Everton in 2004 after a £25.6 million deal was reached, boasts the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 years of age. In his time at Old Trafford, Rooney has won the Premier League four times, the UEFA Champions League once, in 2007-08 and two League Cups. He also holds two runners-up medals, from the Premier and the Champions League. He is also, to boot, United's highest goal scorer, in the current format of the Premier League.

Rooney earns a reported £18m per year, including sponsorship deals; this makes him the third most expensive player in the world, only behind Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Rooney has made 337 appearances so far for United and has scored 158 times.

Rooney is the biggest England talent I've seen since I arrived in England. There has certainly not been a player under 20 as good as him since I became a manager here, said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Rooney following his last-minute goal against his club in October 2002.