— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) October 27, 2016
Essentially, it’s a one in, one out situation at LA Galaxy, with the Major League Soccer heavyweights prepping for the loss of Gerrard. The Liverpool hero’s 18-month stint in California comes to an end at the close of the 2016 campaign, with contracts in American soccer running across one whole year rather than from summer to summer, as is the case in Europe.
Gerrard himself has already dropped an almighty hint on Instagram that he will be moving on when his deal expires, and a return to his native Merseyside and a potential coaching role at Liverpool appears a likely option.
The Mirror, on the back of this, hypothesise that Rooney could be drafted in as a replacement for the departing midfielder. It essentially boils down to LA Galaxy having one of their Designated Player slots back in the open – DPs are players whose salary is not included in the strict wage cap MLS teams work with – and Rooney being unsettled at Old Trafford. The striker/midfielder/benchwarmer is facing an uncertain future in Manchester under Jose Mourinho, who has appeared reluctant to pick him in recent weeks after a worrying drop in form.
In a lot of ways, yes. In a few, no. Rooney moving Stateside is not a crazy notion and has been floating around for a while now, with his rapid decline intensifying the debate. In essence, the England captain would be moving to a league in which he’d be a cut above almost every player in terms of ability and able to earn a significant salary – albeit that may be below his Man United wage packet right now. He would also have the chance to live in Los Angeles with his family, which is certainly a more favourable state of affairs than a possible move to China’s Super League – an option floated for some time.
The deal also makes sense for the Galaxy, who would boost their global presence by signing one of the biggest footballers on the planet in terms of profile. For all the criticism Rooney receives, he’s still a megastar globally and is recognisable in the lucrative Asian market, while he’s loved by many in England, which may attract more fans to MLS.
However, for Rooney, the deal may be too soon. He’s just turned 31, by no means veteran status, and has his eyes on a slot in England’s 2018 World Cup squad. Moving to MLS would make it tricky for whoever is in charge of the Three Lions ahead of the tournament to select him.