Manchester United may be wondering just how many times they have to dismiss the Wayne Rooney speculation. Following David Moyes dismissing talk of a move both during his initial press conference and again last week, stories continue that the England striker could be on his way.
The latest suggest Chelsea are favourites for his signature, and that the saga could last until the very last day of the transfer window.
This despite executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward saying the following yesterday:
“I’m not surprised clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal want Wayne – he’s a top player. He’s not for sale and we won’t be selling him.”
A statement just as emphatic as those of Moyes, and yet expect the reports to continue until Rooney comes out himself and commits his future to United.
If it is a new contract he is after, he may be out of luck, with reports stating the club has no intention of offering the striker a new one at this time.
“There are no contract renewals that are being discussed,” Woodward added.
“Would we be afraid to run a contract down? Of course not.”
Although in truth it surely depends on whose contract he is referring to.
Speaking of contracts, long-time United target Leighton Baines may sign a new one with Everton – if the champions do not match his asking price.
An initial bid of around £10million was rejected last month, and with Everton reportedly holding out for £18million it is unlikely United will go that high.
As much as the Rooney saga has some time to run, don’t expect the Baines story to be finished quite yet.
His teammate Marouane Fellaini has also been heavily linked with a switch to Old Trafford this summer. And reports today state that United have a month before his price rises considerably.
The player’s £23.5million buy-out clause expires on August 14, leaving the Toffees in a far better negotiating position should no one match it before then.
Although in truth, should either United or Arsenal really want him, the Belgian’s future is likely to be cleared up long before that date.
image: © gordonflood