Would Manchester United swap Rooney for Ibrahimovic?

According to reports, Paris Saint-Germain are considering making a ‘swoop’ for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney this summer.

The Englishman has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford since the arrival of Robin van Persie and the emergence of Javier Hernandez. Rooney has been converted into more of a supporting forward and has even played in wide and attacking midfield positions this term.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to leave Rooney on the bench for the majority of their controversial Champions League defeat to Real Madrid last week opened the door to a wave of speculation over the 27-year-old’s future.

Whilst Ferguson has dismissed suggestions that Rooney could depart this summer, I wonder whether the manager would consider a swap-deal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving in the opposite direction.

As his former United and England teammate Michael Owen stated this week, there are only a handful of elite clubs who have the financial clout to buy Rooney – Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea, and perhaps a couple of super-rich Russian outfits are the only possible destinations.

I can’t see a Rooney tarnishing his reputation with United fans as he would if he signed for either Chelsea or City and I doubt he would want to play in Russia, no matter how much money was on the table.

So, that leaves just Real Madrid and PSG – the Spanish champions aren’t that fond of Rooney – Spanish news outfit Marca recently described him as a ‘hooligan’ ‘devil’. I can’t see him going to Spain any time soon. So, by process of elimination, PSG is the only club that could and would suit him should he become disillusioned at United and fancy a change of scenery.

His mate David Beckham is there (at least in a public relations capacity) and he would be surrounded by as much star talent as he is at United. The likes of Thiago Silva, Mamadou Sakho, Jeremy Menez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Alex, Maxwell, Gregory van der Wiel, Marco Verratti, Javier Pastore, Thiago Motta, and Lucas Moura are plenty of reasons to be excited about a switch to the French capital.

However, PSG currently have a world-class striker – Ibrahimovic. Rooney would be unlikely to want to play second fiddle – that is the only reason he would move in the first place.

United wouldn’t let him go for anything less than £60 million (which is his current valuation) however I wonder if the prospect of a former Barcelona, Ajax, Inter Milan, and AC Milan superstar would be enough to tempt them to sell.

With a CV like his, the Swedish international could very well be tempted by a move to another of Europe’s most elite clubs – Manchester United would be the ideal location for a man of his ambition. Synonymously, Ibrahimovic hasn’t won a Champions League winners medal yet and, whilst PSG are more capable than they ever have been before, his chances would be better at United. At 31 years of age, he’s not got that long left to achieve that ambition.

He’s scored 28 goals in 33 appearances for the Ligue 1 leaders so far this season and looks set to beat his tally of 35 goals in 44 appearances for AC Milan last season. He’s a seasoned and cultured centre-forward whose talents would suit the Premier League most ideally.

He is along with perhaps Van Persie, Radamel Falcao, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski, the very best the continent has in terms of out-and-out striker talent.

The latter looks set to switch to Bayern Munich this summer, the former is already at United, Falcao will likely go to Chelsea if he moves to anywhere in England, Suarez has a contract with the Reds until 2018, and Cavani will likely go to City.

Would Manchester United and Ferguson consider swapping Ibrahimovic for Rooney? I think it might just be an offer they couldn’t refuse, but sadly for United PSG probably would not want to let their star man leave.

image: © prettyfriendship

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