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Rooney…player power the driving force.

Sir Alex Ferguson looked like defeated man during the surprisingly honest press conference to publicly declare Rooney’s desire to leave Old Trafford. Most of us could not have expected such an open interview from Sir Alex.

In all of the time that he has been manager at Old Trafford I have never seen such a look of resignation on his face. His body language matched his words which indicate that all is not good at Old Trafford.

We are told that Rooney made his feelings known a few months ago. I am sure that in this time Ferguson and the rest of the club officials have been attempting to convince him to stay. But as the recent injury controversy has put both Rooney and Ferguson in the spotlight and that fans have questioned Ferguson’s decision to leave him out of the starting eleven, this has forced the club to reveal the true story.

In my view, one thing is for sure. He knows where he is going. No player will turn down the offer of a new contract if they do not have their future mapped out. Sir Alex mentioned that the figures offered to him would be hard to be beaten elsewhere. Well, we all know that there is at least one club who could afford any figures put in front of them.

For the time being the link with rivals Manchester City does appear to fit particularly well. If and when Rooney departs I am sure that Manchester United would like to be able to choose his destination, but I don’t think that is likely to happen.

Rooney’s agent will ask for a valuation that Manchester United put on his head. My guess that there will be some different valuations provided. For me, there could be as many as three different valuations. One valuation for him to play abroad, away from the competition. Valuation number two, a higher figure for Premier League clubs wanting his services. And the third, and most expensive valuation which will be for Manchester City only. Since their financial limits have no boundaries each club selling to Manchester City have ‘tried it on’. Aston Villa stood firm and won the day with James Milner. But this is a whole new ball game. What are the implications for Manchester United allowing Rooney to join their city rivals ? This would be considered a huge shift in power from one side of the city to the other.

But one thing this has shown us all is that player power is what is driving this situation. Ultimately Rooney will decide where his future lies. Manchester United have the unforgiving financial dilemma to face. Do they sell him as soon as possible to maximise their compensation or stall and risk losing money ? Every transfer window that passes will lower the transfer value. Leave it too late and he leaves on a free transfer. Either way, Rooney wins and Manchester United lose.

So from now until January the speculation will be rife about what will happen.  

Although The Premier League is the richest in the world I doubt that there are too many clubs that could afford him or even that he would choose to play for. Chelsea perhaps ? I don’t think so.

  There could still be time for a U-turn but I feel that this will mark a significant page in the history of Manchester United. A player leaving Old Trafford of his own will in the peak of his powers. And will other players follow suit?

Is this the beginning of a decline for such a big club as Manchester United ? Only time will tell.

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