Sir Alex Ferguson’s almost tearful admission that his prodigal son Wayne Rooney has turned his back on him and Manchester United may have been greeted with shock by the world press but in reality it was a marriage of convenience which was always liable to culminate in a parting of the ways.
The Croxteth crank has previous form for walking out on clubs shortly after making outlandish statements to the contrary. Everton fans will always remember ‘Once a Blue always a Blue’ and United fans will now be suffering from the same feelings of anguish and dismay at now knowing that the man they loved has eyes for another suitor.
Much conjecture has centered on the deterioration of Rooney’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson as a factor in the pending parting of the ways, but in truth it could be argued that it is United’s growing financial constraints, coupled with a squad visibly creaking over the past 12 months which has been more influential to his decision. Whereas before Rooney had the likes of van Nistilrooy, Ronaldo and Tevez to accompany him up front, he now has the spent force of Michael Owen, the inconsistent Berbatov and in Macheda and Hernandez, two potentially top players but at this minute not ready to take centre stage.
Many of Rooney’s financial pies have recently gone cold in light of the lurid allegations about his personal life, and it wouldn’t be surprising if his cunning Management Agency has used these factor’s to turn the malleable Rooney’s head. The idea of a potentially huge signing on fee, especially if he can buy out his final year of his contract for £5m , has surely been discussed. Rooney has as recently as April 2010 rubbished talk of a move to close rivals City with disdain, however this is the one club his Management company will be pushing the striker to join, akin to 2004.
The romantic inside me would like to believe that he has changed from the boy who, aided and abetted by his guvnor Paul Stretford, forced a move from the club he professed to love back in 2004. I want to believe that now, as a millionaire, he would return and put something back into the club who gave him his shot, even if he would have to slum it on £90k per week or however much Everton could offload Jonny Heitinga for. His media love-in conducted via the Liverpool Echo earlier this year painted a picture of a man who regretted the sins of his youth, that he was still a Blue fan and attended the cup final defeat to Chelsea and still follows the club avidly. Stranger things have obviously happened in football, just look at Shearer’s defection from Fergie’s reaches to his hometown club at the peak of his powers back in 2005. Maybe it is the Everton fan in me, the sinicism which engulfs any follower of the Blues after repeated false dawns through the years, but I just cannot see it happening.
Whoever Rooney’s next charmer is will need money to burn, and from his previous affairs the only thing is certain; when the money and ambition are no longer suitable to his needs, you will be traded in for a new model.