If Borussia Dortmund can do it, so can Manchester United

Robert Lewandowski playing for Poland, with József Varga and Vilmos Vanczák

Would Manchester United dare let Wayne Rooney's contract expire and risk him walking away on a free?

Manchester United say they have no intention of allowing Wayne Rooney to leave, and are in it for the long haul.

The Guardian report that United are prepared to go the distance and even let his contract expire in 2015, and risk any consequences which come their way in the meantime.

United's view is that the decision is the lesser of two evils, with the prospect of selling him to Chelsea worse than any strop Rooney could throw.

After all it was Rooney who put pen to paper on his contract, making him the highest paid player in their history as he committed himself.

For too long football clubs have bowed to the demands of their high profile stars who wanted moves, with a classic example Arsenal selling Robin van Persie just last summer.

But this summer a club has taken a stand, perhaps even to Manchester United's frustration.

Step forward Borussia Dortmund, who have made Robert Lewandowski non-transferable, despite the fact he has only one year remaining on his current deal.

Bayern Munich want to sign the Polish striker, who wants to leave to join the much-hyped manager who has just arrived from La Liga. Sound familiar?

Dortmund are effectively waiving the €25 million they could expect to receive for Lewandowski from Bayern, or any other club, simply to stick to their principles and sign the striker.

Their view is to extract maximum footballing payback out of the striker for the money they have invested in him, and clearly do not need the money.

United are the same. They do not need Chelsea's money, and selling them Rooney will only see them more likely to slip behind the Stamford Bridge club in the Premier League.

The financial loss they would take is easier to swallow than the footballing one, and Dortmund clearly feel the same way.

United's stance is not unique, but it's highly admirable. If they can see Dortmund do it this year, it will only strengthen their resolve to hang onto Rooney not just this summer, but the next one too, and make him wait until the summer of 2015 if he really wants to walk away.

image: © Roger Gorączniak

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