Whilst I suspect the Englishman will likely be departing from Old Trafford in the coming months, I highly doubt he will be heading to North London.
1) Transfer Fee
Firstly, according to reports Paris Saint-Germain are willing to shell out £100 million on securing the number 10’s services this summer. That sounds excessive to me but the Parisians have the cash to splash and if they want him, they have the spending capability to outbid their competition.
Arsenal simply don’t have that kind of cash and the well-known frugality of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger means there is no way on earth Arsenal would spend even half of that fee.
Not only can Arsenal not afford the fee, but his wages are off the scale – his current contract with United that runs until 2015 has his pocketing £250,000 a week and Arsenal’s current top earners Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott earn less than half that figure and Arsenal were reluctant to pay even £100,000 to keep the latter.
If recent reports are to be believed Rooney is looking to negotiate earning even more than his quarter of a million pounds a week and Arsenal simply won’t entertain that kind of deal. No way.
Not only would Wenger not spend £50 million on a transfer fee and £250,000 a week in wages but he certainly wouldn’t pay that price for a 27-year-old. When Rooney signed from Everton in 2004 he was 18 years old and cost around £25 million. That’s the kind of player Wenger will be looking at this summer, not a 27-year-old that would cost a fortune.
He’s entering the twilight years of his career now and has struggled with fitness and form this term. Club’s like Chelsea and PSG can afford to take those kind of calculated risks but Arsenal can’t and won’t.
Meanwhile, Rooney’s behaviour in recent months (and years) – his holding Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to ransom over his current contract and his sulking upon being substituted, along with his recent decision to hand in a transfer request in the same week Ferguson announced his retirement makes him a very unattractive player to Arsenal.
Wenger has ample of experience of dealing with wantaway players, mercenaries and ‘bad eggs’ who have unsettled the team and held the club to ransom over contracts and engineered their own departures – he’s not going to sign a player with that kind of track record.
Finally, Wenger has refused to sign players in the past because of their behaviour – both on and off the field – he was very interested for several transfer windows in bring in French midfielder Yann M’Vila but the player’s indiscipline and lack of professionalism put him off.
Rooney has matured over the years and has certainly curbed his enthusiasm for getting himself sent off and sleeping with middle-aged prostitutes (allegedly) but that kind of behaviour is a deal-breaker for a club like Arsenal. They pride them selves, as does the manager, on their squeaky-clean image and Rooney’s past and his reputation is incongruent with that image.