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Could Rooney play in Spain?
20 October 2010 @ 15:08

Could Wayne Rooney play in Spain? That is something the player and his agent will be weighing up at the moment.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Rooney have fallen out - and there's only one winner when a player crosses the Scot. Ferguson has been appalled at his behaviour off the pitch, baffled by his continued lack of form on it.

He's told people at Manchester United that Rooney can be sold. Rooney has brought a lot of the grief on himself, but most fans couldn't care less if he wants to indulge in Bakewell, apple or Bolton tarts as long as he's still scoring. Goals, that is. When he didn't, his problems began to mount.

Rooney has been a brilliant footballer for United, but Ferguson is one to look at the future and not the past.

It all seems harsh and very, very swift, but that's Ferguson's style. No player is too big to be moved on and Ferguson has moved on the biggest. The only player he didn't want to lose was Cristiano Ronaldo. David Beckham, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane, Paul Ince and Ruud van Nistelrooy all went because Fergie decided so. They all took two or three years before they forgave their former manager.

Two those players went to Madrid, and Real would be one of the few options open to Rooney should he, as expected, leave Old Trafford.

Barcelona, Internazionale and Manchester City would be the only other teams who would pay the £150,000 weekly wage that his agent would be looking for.

With Rooney's stock battered by his poor form and off-the-field indiscretions, negotiating such a deal for Rooney would be harder than a year ago - no matter how weak the pound is against the Euro.

A Spanish journalist put the Rooney question to Madrid's sporting director Jorge Valdano, who replied that Madrid already have "two wonderful players (Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain) up front and they showed last season that they are able to score 60 goals."

He also mentioned Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil, while stating that Karim Benzema "had a lot to prove."

Still, Madrid would be the most likely destination should he move abroad. Even with the Fergie Mk II that is Jose Mourinho, the club are obsessed by image and marketing. Rooney is by a distance the biggest seller of merchandise at Old Trafford and Florentino Perez would love to translate that to the Bernabeu as he did with Beckham.

But would it work? If Rooney does move to Spain, then he needs to be more like Steve McManaman, Gary Lineker and Jonathan Woodgate when it comes to learning Spanish rather than Mark Hughes, Ian Harte and Michael Owen.

The former group learned Spanish, the latter didn't get beyond the ‘dos cervezas' stage. They didn't last long, while the lads who did learn Spanish loved their time in Spain, even though injury curtailed Woodgate's appearances.

I've interviewed Rooney a few times in Barcelona. He's likeable and matures with every interview, but didn't marvel at the city or club like other British players. There was one occasion when I saw him meet Ronaldinho for the first time. The Brazilian is trilingual, but doesn't speak English. He tried.

"Hola, hello. Do you speak Spanish?" he asked falteringly, nodding and smiling.

"Er, no mate," laughs Rooney, shaking his head. Studying Castilian verb tables isn't a priority for the youth of Croxteth.

Source: Yahoo/Eurosport



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