Paris Saint-Germain have informed Wayne Rooney's representatives that they would be willing to match his current wages as they seek to convince the unsettled England striker to leave Manchester United for Parc des Princes.
Rooney's future at Old Trafford has been in serious doubt since Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking immediately after his final home game in charge, suggested the forward had asked for a transfer after nine years with United. The incoming manager, David Moyes, is understood to want to retain the 27-year-old's services but the player may now consider his relationship with the club and the supporters to be fractured beyond repair.
PSG, who are braced to lose their title-winning manager, Carlo Ancelotti, to Real Madrid and will consider Rafael Benítez as a replacement, have sensed an opportunity to secure the England international and hope to pair him up front with Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season.
The French champions, who are backed by the money-flushed Qatar Investment Authority, made their interest in securing the player known last week and have indicated they would be prepared to match his salary, which amounts to about £300,000 a week.
Rooney, whose wife Coleen gave birth to the couple's second boy, Klay Anthony, on Tuesday, is reluctant to move abroad, given his young family, and would need to be convinced of the overall quality of Ligue 1. But a move to Paris remains a possibility given the lack of other options on the table.
PSG have prioritised the Englishman over Napoli's Edinson Cavani, who is a long-standing target for Manchester City, and believe he can still be persuaded to leave for France. Arsenal have also been mooted as a potential destination within the Premier League, though it seems unlikely they would be prepared to stretch to the player's financial demands. Neither City nor Chelsea are inclined, at present, to revive interest in the striker.
Rooney had met Ferguson last month to discuss his prospects at United after the player was dismayed at falling behind Robin van Persie in the pecking order and his inability to earn regular selection in his preferred forward position. He felt the writing was on the wall from the moment he was dropped for the second leg of United's Champions League knockout tie with Real Madrid in March and expressed his concerns in the discussions.
He apparently denies making a formal transfer request but the manager's comments, and the subsequent fallout, have left him concerned as to whether there is any way back at United, even under new management, given the damage inflicted by the suggestions he was keen to leave.
United would still need to be convinced about selling Rooney, who has two years remaining on his contract – the usual point for renewing terms – and Moyes's input could yet prove key to determining the player's future. If the player cannot be convinced he can be rehabilitated at the club, the best course for him and the club could yet be for his sale to be sanctioned.
United and Rooney's representatives could not be reached for comment.
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