We take a look at the possibility of Rooney making his way to work with Rene Meulensteen; and nip this rumour in the bud.
As expected Guus Hiddink has officially stepped down as the manager of Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala after much speculation over his future in the past month or so.
Hiddink had this to say about his exit from the club:
"I've always said that my mission with Anzhi would end when the club was able to develop and grow by itself without my participation."
So who is the man that Hiddink believes is good enough to take the club forward without his excellent input.
Well it is of course the former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen. The Dutchman was appointed as an assistant to Hiddink after deciding to not take up a role under David Moyes at Old Trafford.
But a little over a month since the 49-year-old arrived at the Dagestan club as a part of the staff he has now been handed the head coach role.
With that there is obviously always going to be the rumours flying around linking Meulensteen with former United players; with the idea of Nani heading out to Russia currently doing the rounds.
But I am going to propose an even wilder suggestion: what about Wayne Rooney?
Well it would be simple to just flat-out say no to the possibility but let’s take a serious backward step from the possibility and ponder whether a deal is actually possible.
Firstly there is cost and affordability. Now while Anzhi have slowed down their spending (only slightly mind) since they shocked the world by securing the transfer of Samuel Eto’o the club is in a financial position where they can get their hands on large sums of cash; and fast.
Let’s not forget that Eto’o is currently one of the world’s best paid footballers so if Rooney was after a massive wage then Anzhi could certainly make him an even richer man then he already is.
It would also not be the first time the team wanted Rooney. In 2012 then team director at Anzhi Roberto Carlos had this to say about the player:
"Why not? He's one of the best players in the world and any team would be happy to have him in their squad. He's still a very young player. Of course I could not say when, and if, it will happen. It's not only Anzhi who want to buy him. There are plenty of teams in Italy and Spain, all over the world, who are eager to have a player like Rooney.’’
Then there is the Meulensteen factor. The Dutchman has worked with United sporadically since 2001 so has been there since Rooney joined in 2004 - the pair should know each other quite well.
But in reality this deal, which is likely to eventually rear its head in the occasional leading paper over the next couple of months, will never happen.
Of course there are the obvious reasons behind it. Rooney may not want to play in the middle of nowhere, for a team that is not in the Champions League and may harm his international chances in doing so; no matter how many roubles they throw at him.
But it is quite clear from a recent interview with Meulensteen that he and Rooney were not exactly close:
“I don’t think Wayne and I were that closely connected. Wayne has his own agenda; he’s a young player still, in his prime. I hope he stays but it’s obviously not up to me to decide and whatever he decides to do I wish him all the best.”
So that puts an end to that rumour before it even rears its ugly head.
Chelsea on the other hand….
image: © nasmac