Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has told Sky Sports that there is seemingly no possibility of Barcelona or Real Madrid signing Wayne Rooney.
His comments come after press speculation over his future with Manchester united, coming after his unexpected exclusion from the team that started against Real Madrid last week. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side went on to to lose 2 – 1 on the night, 3 – 2 on aggregate, and his decision to utilise Rooney only as a second half substitute on such a huge occasion has left question marks over his future.
In light of this, Balague told Sky Sports that a move to Spain, either to Real Madrid or Barcelona, seemed unlikely at best. The simple reason for this, he claimed, is that they don’t see the English star striker as being up to their high standards.
[quote] “Real Madrid and Barcelona do not think Rooney is on the market and expect him to stay at Old Trafford longer than Sir Alex Ferguson. But they are also not interested in him because they don’t think he fits what they are looking for; the perception is that he is very much an English player that fits a certain mould.”[/quote]
Balague also pointed out that Madrid and Barcelona are not short of world-class players in his position, and the two believe Rooney to be less effective when surrounded by similarly big players, and also on the big occasions.
[quote]“The impression from Real and Barca is that if there is a bigger player in the team he can disappear, and that in big games he doesn’t always do the job that is required of him.”[/quote]
Even if he was to play behind the striker, as he often does for Manchester United, he would still find incredible competition. Ozil and Kaka primarily at Madrid and Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas and Messi at Barcelona.
Manchester United have not been as reliant on Rooney this season as they have in the past, with Rooney scoring 16% of their goals this season compared to 22% of their goals since 2008. With Van Persie now at their disposal, and also with the likes of Welbeck and Hernandez competing for a starting place, Rooney is no longer as essential to the team as he was. It is also not the first time that he has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, the 27-year old claiming he wanted to leave in 2010 before reversing that decision and signing a new contract.
Whether or not a summer departure is on the cards for Wayne Rooney only time will tell. According to Balague though, what seems certain is that he will not be heading to Madrid or Barcelona.