Rooney's United future in balance
Oct 17, 2010, 10:08 GMT
London - Wayne Rooney's future as a Manchester United player looks increasingly uncertain after Sunday newspaper reports suggesting he is poised to leave the club.
The Sunday Mirror reported on its front page that Rooney will leave the club in January, and while that is far from confirmed, there is a growing consensus that his position is becoming increasingly unstable.
Rooney was left on the bench for Saturday's 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion, something widely interpreted as punishment imposed by manager Sir Alex Ferguson for comments Rooney had made a couple of days earlier.
Ferguson has withdrawn Rooney from a number of games because of what he said was an ankle injury, but Rooney insisted he has been fit all season.
After being named Player of the Year last season by both the players' and the football writers' associations, Rooney's form has suffered a sharp downturn that began during the World Cup and has continued following revelations about his private life.
Ferguson has seemingly done his best to take him out of the firing line, a policy the player seems to oppose.
Rooney's contract expires in summer 2012, and his advisors are attempting to negotiate a new deal, but it is believed United are unwilling to meet his 160,0000-pound (256,000-dollar)-a-week demands.
A sale in January, with a fee likely to be in the region of 60 million pounds, would help United meet repayments on the debt incurred with the leveraged takeover of the club.
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