Report: Wayne Rooney Open to Playing Abroad If Manchester United Refuses to Sell Him to Chelsea

Wayne Rooney, Mark BunnWayne Rooney‘s career has reached a crossroad. His next step could take him to a far-off land.

Rooney is reportedly determined to leave Manchester United this month with Chelsea often cited as his preferred destination. But United have little interest in selling the star forward to a fellow title challenger, and they have already rejected two transfer offers from the Blues.

Limited domestic options have forced Rooney to consider playing abroad, and he is now open to the idea, according to The Independent.

“Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney would consider a move abroad if the transfer to Chelsea which he cherishes falls flat,” the report says.

“Chelsea are likely to come in with a third bid, after United’s flat rejection on Sunday of the offer of £25 million [$39 million] plus extras, with a bid of closer to £40 million [$62 million] possibly too good to resist given that the player is so transparently desperate to leave.”

“But the Rooney camp are aware that a move to the west London club is by no means a foregone conclusion, with the Premier League champions presently insisting that Rooney is their player, and their new manager, David Moyes, likely to be deeply unhappy about the idea of him signing for prospective domestic title challengers.”

Rooney’s future has been in doubt since March after he fell out of favor with former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The 27-year-old Rooney’s role was reduced to that of a squad player as the 2012-13 season wound down, and Ferguson dropped him for the final two games of the season, saying he had asked to leave the club. While Rooney can boast of a trophy-filled legacy as one of United’s greatest goal scorers ever, his nine-year stay at Old Trafford looks set to end in acrimony in the coming weeks.

Jose Mourinho is one of Rooney’s longtime admirers, and the newly re-installed Chelsea manager said the United star is his club’s sole remaining transfer target. Rooney would reportedly welcome a switch to Stamford Bridge, as he wants to leave United but play for a top club in the Premier League. Should Chelsea fail in its pursuit, it would leave Arsenal (which is also reportedly interested in signing him) as the last viable option in England.

PSG, Monaco and Bayern Munich have also been linked to Rooney in recent months, but their attacking ranks are stacked following a transfer-filled summer.

With few options at home and abroad, Rooney might have to force the issue by submitting a transfer request — as he is expected to do this week — or wait for the plot of his transfer saga to yet another twist.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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