Wayne Rooney is undoubtedly a talented player who could help Manchester United on the pitch in 2013-14, but there will be too much discord between the two parties if the 27-year-old striker remains at Old Trafford.
New United manager David Moyes reiterated on Tuesday that the club has no intentions of selling Rooney, according to Fox Sports. This comes after reportedly rejecting a bid from Chelsea worth £23 million plus incentives, per Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.
Of course, Chelsea does have the means to buy Rooney for £30 million this summer, and Blues manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that it is "Rooney or bust," via BBC Sport.
The uneasiness between Rooney and United started last season, when Rooney was held out of some pivotal matches by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson. That included the last-16 leg of the Champions League and Ferguson's last match at Old Trafford and final match with United.
Ferguson confirmed late last season that Rooney had asked for a transfer, per ESPN UK. Since then, Moyes has left Rooney "angry and confused" after saying, via the Telegraph, “Overall my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we get an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him.”
Maybe Moyes didn't mean those words as a slight, but Rooney certainly appeared to take it that way. It doesn't help that Moyes sued Rooney after some choice words from the striker in his 2006 autobiography, Wayne Rooney: My Story So Far.
Even if the relationship between Moyes and Rooney is cordial moving forward, the relationship between United and Rooney comes with plenty of baggage. It's too much of a poisonous atmosphere for both parties to continually deny there is nothing wrong.
As for Rooney and Chelsea, there is certainly a lot of respect there. As the Daily Mail report noted, Chelsea believes Rooney can be a top-flight player for the next five years, as does Rooney.
The Daily Mail report also noted, "Rooney wants to work with Mourinho, believing him to be a manager who will cherish his ability and build a new Chelsea team around him."
I can see where United is coming from in terms of selling a top player to a Premier League foe. But at this point, there isn't a better option. Chelsea will offer the most money, and it's hard to believe United and Rooney would see eye-to-eye for the entire 2013-14 campaign. Rooney staying at Old Trafford could disrupt chemistry and cause distractions.
The best thing for United to do at this point would be to sell Rooney to Chelsea soon, then use the money to buy another impact player while chemistry still has a chance of being developed before the next Premier League season. Holding off doesn't benefit United in the offseason.
Rooney has been a great player for United, but all good things must come to an end. This is that time.