Football Expert & Columnist
Sky blue thinking?
Jamie Redknapp reckons Manchester City are the favourites to land Wayne Rooney now he wants to move.
Last Updated: 20/10/10 9:18pm
I have to say I was absolutely staggered when I heard the news that Wayne Rooney wants out of Manchester United. I still am.
If there was ever a player in the Premier League who I thought we would see wearing the same shirt for the rest of his career, it was Rooney.
I hate badge kissing and he isn't a badge kisser. We see it all the time, players doing that and all the while we're well aware that as soon as the chance comes up they'll be off somewhere else - to kiss another badge.
Wayne Rooney is not one of those. I thought he would be at Old Trafford for the rest of his career, I really did.
Normally when something as big as this comes up you hear something on the footballing grapevine, but I hadn't heard a thing. That made it a complete and utter shock and something I just can't work out.
We've all been left wondering what has happened. People will be saying Rooney is out of order, others will be pointing the finger at Sir Alex Ferguson, saying he is behind the times and cannot manage successfully in this era of huge contracts and player power.
We don't know enough to comment on the first one, but if anybody thinks Ferguson is not up to the job anymore, they can think again. He would have been a successful manager 30 years ago and would be a successful manager in 30 years time.
We know all about the problems Rooney has had. And they have been going on for a good six months, ever since he got that ankle injury against Bayern Munich way back in March. Maybe he feels United as a club and Sir Alex could've done more for him.
Sometimes we all need an arm round us - he is no different to anyone else - but sometimes you also need to look at yourself and deal with things yourself.
I know there has been an issue with the contract and that can be the only thing I can think of that is behind this. As soon as there is the whiff of a problem, other clubs will have been onto Rooney's agent and both he and the player himself will be more than aware of what he can get elsewhere.
He could double his money at Manchester City, I am sure. The only other clubs that even come into the equation are Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Do Barcelona need him and Lionel Messi in the same team? I know the prospect of joining up with Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo sounds great, but if you think about it, Ronaldo leaving Old Trafford was really the making of Rooney.
Personally if I was offered the chance to go and play in Spain and learn another language and lifestyle I would jump at it, but I don't think Wayne is that kind of lad. He strikes me as a local boy, who is close to his family, which is why I thought he would be at United forever.
I think he will stay in England, which is great for the Premier League. I would hate to see England's best player leave these shores, I really would. I genuinely hope he stays.
The problem he has is he is going to upset Manchester United fans if that is the case. As I say, only Chelsea and City could really afford him, maybe Tottenham or Liverpool if they came up with some minor financial miracle. Would he go to Liverpool though and risk upsetting even more people back on Merseyside?
He and his agent will know what clubs are interested. Manchester City could easily afford to pay him £250,000-a-week, the chance to at least double his money, I am sure.
I know people will turn round and say when you earn that much what does it matter, but you ask any man on the street what he would do and I am sure he wouldn't be able to give you a flat 'no, I'm staying put'. Maybe he thinks he is getting a raw deal at United, knowing what he can earn somewhere else.
I can see him ending up at Manchester City. With their funds, they can make a major statement, show they are a real force in world football. And not only that, they would be making another little bit of mischief with United but above all, getting the best player of his generation.
You wouldn't have thought Rooney would go to United's rivals; but a week ago I wouldn't have thought he would ever leave Manchester United.