Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to guarantee that Wayne Rooney will be at the club at the end of the season.
The club captain’s future has been a talking point throughout the entire season, mainly because he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team spot under Mourinho.
Having started just eight of United’s 25 Premier League games, Rooney is no longer first choice, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford seemingly above him in the pecking order.
The Mirror reports that the 31-year-old was given the go-ahead to complete a move to the Chinese Super League after breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record.
Rooney is now United’s all-time leading scorer with 250 goals to his name, but he may not add to that tally if he opts for a big-money move to the Far East.
The England captain could be gone as early as next week when the transfer window in China slams shut.
Mourinho indicated that he would not block a transfer, telling reporters:
“You have to ask him. Of course I can’t guarantee he will still be here next season. I cannot guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season? What I can guarantee is that, if one day Wayne leaves the club, it is not because I want him to leave the club.
“I would never push a legend of this club to another destiny. You have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or sees himself moving.
“It is not a question for me because I am happy to have him. You have to ask him, not me. I was very open with you in the answer. I don’t want him to leave.”
It is clear that Rooney is no longer the player that he once was, but to leave in the middle of the season would not be fitting for a footballer who has provided so much to United.
Just under 13 years ago, the Liverpudlian joined the Red Devils from Everton and went on to win every domestic trophy available and make 549 appearances.
Rooney helped United scoop five Premier League titles and won the Champions League in the 2007-08 campaign.
Considering what he has contributed to United over the years, it would be disappointing for a player of his stature to leave on a whimper at the end of February.
Having said that, it does not look like Rooney’s career will revive at Old Trafford and perhaps he is wanting one big pay day before hanging up his boots.
Maybe it would be best to wait until the season comes to a close before waving goodbye.