Manchester United concluded their pre-season tour with a 1-1 draw in Stockholm against AIK, but David Moyes will have to wait to assess the extent of the injuries to Nani and Jonny Evans, who were both forced off the pitch.
Nani, playing his first pre-season game with the first team squad, had been United’s biggest threat, linking up excellently with Wilfried Zaha and displaying the sort of endeavour and enterprise many expected to see from the Portuguese who, having been linked with a move away from the club, was clearly eager to impress David Moyes before being withdrawn with the game barely 30 minutes old.
Nine years ago, when United unveiled Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford, it appeared nothing could stop the 18-year-old from becoming one of the game’s brightest stars as Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were deemed the perfect environment to nurture and develop the teenager into something special.
Almost a decade on, the teenager is no longer a teenager (although the petulance and self-pity characterising Rooney’s behaviour over the last 18 months do not do his 27 years any justice), and the relationship between player and club has deteriorated to such extent that parting ways is as inevitable as it could be beneficial for both parties involved.
With every day that goes by, the Wayne Rooney saga becomes increasingly farcical, the failure of club and player to reach if not an agreement at least a relatively amicable solution has casted a massive cloud over the club’s strategy in this summer’s transfer window.
Rooney was due to make his public comeback for the club today, as United take on AIK in Stockholm, the first of their last two pre-season friendlies before the season’s traditional curtain raiser in which United will face Wigan in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
Cristiano Ronaldo is refusing to confirm or deny reports that he’s agreed an extension to his Real Madrid contract thus fuelling rumours he could be on his way out of the club.
Reports surfaced last week that David Moyes and Manchester United were exploring the possibility of Ronaldo making a block-buster return to Old Trafford for a fee in the region of £80m once they became aware Gareth Bale was a serious and viable target for Real Madrid in a record triple-figure deal.
Manchester United have rejected a bid from Chelsea for Wayne Rooney, the second time within a matter of weeks that United have refused an offer for their wantaway striker by Roman Abramovich’s club.
United have repeatedly stated publicly that Rooney is not for sale, however the 27-year-old has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Old Trafford in what has developed into the most tedious transfer saga of the summer, and arguably of the last few summers.
One of the transfer sagas of the summer has seemingly reached its end, and a rather predictable one as far as Manchester United fans are concerned, with the club thought to have given up in their attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas.
The Barcelona midfielder became United’s number one target after his former team-mate Thiago opted to move to Bayern Munich, but the Catalans have so far refused the two bids United have submitted, with some reports claiming the former Arsenal captain was desperate to return to the Premier League, while others believe that Fabregas has about as much intention of joining United as Thiago did.
Just when one thought the Wayne Rooney saga couldn’t get more boring, confusing and cringeworthy, the story has apparently managed to tick all three boxes, with the United striker seemingly on the verge of resolving his future and, mercifully, let us all forget about one of the most grotesque transfer sagas in recent years.
By now we’re all more familiar with the story than we’d ever wished to be, so let’s not waste too much of your Sunday morning and focus simply on the new (ish) details, as they’ve emerged over the last 24 hours.
With United’s summer transfer dealings up in the air, many names are being spoken about as potential targets, while it seems talks to bring Ronaldo back to the club persists.
Until the futures of Ronaldo and fellow ‘fast-track bully’ Gareth Bale are decided, the transfer market will be stuck in neutral.
One way or another, this summer more than any other, one decision on one/two players future/s will thrust it into gear.