Manchester United face paying Wayne Rooney up to £26m if they elect to pay-off the remaining 20 months on the England captain’s contract after a poor start to the season.
The 30-year-old was dropped to the bench by England interim manager Gareth Southgate for the World Cup qualifying stalemate with Slovenia on Tuesday while Jose Mourinho, the United boss, has also reduced his role at Old Trafford in recent weeks.
Rooney is on £300,000-a-week at the 20-time champions of England and Mourinho and the wider United hierarchy are reportedly considering paying off the rest of his contract in the North West instead of waiting for a suitor to show their hand.
With moves for England’s all-time top goal-scorer already being plotted in the United States and China, the Daily Mirror report that United are looking into the possibility of offloading him before his contract expires.
Former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson, now in charge at Shanghai, has regularly suggested Rooney would be well suited to the Chinese Super League and clubs from the world’s newest footballing superpower would be able to pay the Everton youth-graduate close to his current earnings.
MLS commissioner Don Garber, meanwhile, recently told the Manchester Evening News: “He’s under contract at Manchester United. I’m personally very friendly with the Glazers, I know them well. To even be talking about it while he’s under contract I guess speaks to the way we operate. We don’t do that. We wouldn’t do it.
“We would love players like Wayne Rooney, and those who have been able to be really successful at the highest level, to be thinking about Major League Soccer. Today, that’s perhaps in their-30s and maybe, sometime in the future, that’s in their mid-20s.”