Wayne Rooney Comments Are Words of Warning over His Manchester United Future

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

Manchester United were crushed by rivals Manchester City on Sunday, and Wayne Rooney has made his feelings known—stating that the performance was "not good enough."

Those are words that could rattle the United hierarchy, given the turbulent few months the forward has recently gone through.

For much of the summer, it appeared Rooney would be on his way out of Manchester United, but Red Devils boss David Moyes stood firm, insisting the player would not be sold.

The manager won the battle of wills, and in the weeks since the window slammed shut Rooney has produced a raft of impressive performances—with four goals in his past three gamesearning lavish praise from former United manger Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking to MUTV, in the process:

Wayne's performance (against Bayer Leverkusen) was fantastic, I was pleased to see that.

He's got his energy back—the determination, his purpose to attack players, was all very encouraging to me.

Being a director, I'm delighted to see that; he's back to what we always remember.

If on-field displays are anything to go by, Rooney is fully committed to the United cause, and a recent report by the Guardian’s Jamie Jackson suggested the club were ready to mend the relationship fully by handing the forward a new deal.

For as well as Rooney has played personally in recent weeks, the team have not been of the same standard. Defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City has seen headlines pointing out that it is United’s worst start to a Premier League season for nine years.

Rooney is concerned, as he made abundantly clear in an interview with the club’s own TV channel following the loss to City:

The way we conceded the goals, one just before half-time and two straight after, is not good enough. We know we have to improve on that, to stop giving these sloppy goals away.

Those words do not ring like the throwaway lines often trotted out by players in post-game interviews. The team’s ability to compete for honours does appear to be worrying Rooney—and the club's fans.

Apart from wayne rooney,rvp and vidic who else can take responsibility for manutd..

— jason bannerman (@jasonbannerman) September 24, 2013

Back in October 2010, Rooney caused a huge storm when revealing he wanted out of Old Trafford. At the time, he said he felt United were lacking the ambition to match his own.

Shortly afterwards, Rooney performed a startling U-turn and signed a new contract. There were some who said at the time that his initial comments were designed to secure himself a lucrative new contract. If that was the case, it worked. 

But the sentiment was clear: Rooney wanted to win trophies. He helped United win the Premier League that season and again last term.

At 27, Rooney is in the period when his body will allow him to produce peak performances—and as such, if he is playing well, he is in an extremely powerful bargaining position.

The summer transfer circus saw strong links with Arsenal and Chelsea, while Paris Saint-Germain—a side with seemingly limitless spending power and ambition to match—were also in the frame.

It’s over three months to the next transfer window, and a lot can change in time, but it appears PSG are still in the frame.

Thiago Siva, the no-nonsense captain at the heart of PSG’s defence, is a huge admirer of Rooney and wants his club to go in again.

"I was hopeful we would sign Wayne Rooney this summer and I am hopeful that we still can,” Silva told the local media, per the Daily Express’ Charles Perrin. "The player himself has made it clear that he would like a new challenge.

"If he still feels that way in January or even next summer then, once again, I would urge him to come and join PSG."

So should United be worried by the renewed transfer talk? The simple answer is yes.

Rooney wanted to move in the summer, but the club stood firm in the face of sustained interest from a host of parties.

That interest could well rear its head again in January. Chelsea still need a striker, as do Arsenal. PSG do not need a striker, with Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line, but need and want are vastly different things.

If United are off the pace, Rooney could be the focus of transfer buzz once again.

A potential saving grace for United is that this is a World Cup year. Rooney is a key cog for England boss Roy Hodgson, and that would remain the same wherever he is playing his club football, but changing clubs in midseason with a major tournament on the horizon may not be the wisest choice.

But Rooney is not a player who will settle for being an also-ran, so if United fall off the pace domestically and in Europe, next summer could see a different outcome to any Rooney transfer saga.


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