Rooney reports come as no surprise

It appears that, after starting the defeat to Real Madrid on the bench, Manchester United are now prepared to cash in on Wayne Rooney, that’s according to every media outlet in England. The England international may’ve netted nine goals that have contributed directly to positive results for the club, but in not starting United’s biggest game of the season; it’s clear to see why Sir Alex Ferguson wants to show the former Everton startlet the exit door.

It’s fair to say that Rooney isn’t the main man at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo was the main man during his time at the club and had he been left out of the starting XI, perhaps the reaction on Twitter would’ve overloaded the servers and sent the social networking site crashing down to earth quicker than the game turned on its head on Tuesday night.

Yet, when it emerged that the 27-year-old wasn’t to be involved from the off, the footballing world simply shrugged its shoulders and got on with it. Up until the Nani red card in the 56th minute, Ferguson’s gameplan worked to perfection, with Danny Welbeck enjoying one of his finest performances in a United shirt to date.

Even when the striker emerged from the bench in the 73rd minute, he made so little an impact that it further reinforced Ferguson’s decision to not start Rooney on the evening. He may’ve been directly involved in 24 goals in the Champions League and Premier League this season – scoring 12 and assisting a further 12 – but there are quarters of the United fanbase that wouldn’t be sad to see him go.

Had Rooney been in imperious form in recent years, there would’ve been no need to sign Robin van Persie over summer, while it’s likely that Ferguson would’ve built his team around the England man. Instead, the frontman is far too inconsistent, especially over the winter months, and he isn’t dynamic enough to change his game to suit a system that the United boss may integrate, as witnessed on Tuesday night.

Rather than contain, like in Madrid two weeks ago, the emphasis was on pressing and utilising that moment to spring the break on Los Blancos, something he doesn’t excel in. Furthermore, continuously returning to pre-season training unfit and overweight doesn’t aid his cause and talk of United prepared to sell him comes as no surprise this morning.