Chelsea favourites ahead of Madrid to land Rooney say bookies

Uncertainty surrounding United striker's future continues, while Real Madrid also hover.

Wayne Rooney’s exit from Manchester United appears one step closer, with widespread reports that the striker is not prepared to sign a new deal at Old Trafford.

According to Sky Bet, Rooney is now just 4/1 to join United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea this month, and 16/1 to move to either Arsenal or Real Madrid.

At the same time, a cluster of reports suggest that Rooney is ready to turn down a new deal, or at least keep his powder dry until the end of the season, when he’ll know whether United are in next season’s Champions League, and the calibre of any potential new signings.

Most worryingly for United fans, The Mirror report that Rooney will turn down a new four-year deal worth £250,000 a week even if the club sign Juan Mata from Chelsea, suggesting that Rooney has simply grown disillusioned with life at the Premier League champions.

Meanwhile, The Manchester Evening News report that Real Madrid are also keen on signing Rooney, in a deal which would see him link up with former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has already claimed that United will sell Rooney, but to a “non-direct rival”, which realistically leaves Madrid as one of few possible candidates.

As speculation increases, Rooney remains silent on his future. He missed United’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at StamfordBridge after being sent away for warm weather training in a bid to speed up his recovery from a groin injury. He has not appeared for David Moyes’s side since the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham on New Years Day.

While his return was a boost for Moyes, this latest round of rumour will do nothing to comfort the manager, as he continues to fight fires on an almost daily basis.

Rooney is in contention for United’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Sunderland at Old Trafford tonight. Moyes’s team trail 2-1 from the first leg and anything other than progress to the final will heap further pressure on the embattled manager.

And he is sure to face another round of questioning over Rooney’s future.

image: © nasmac

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch