Wayne Rooney says he has made up his mind about whether to leave Manchester United and has “lots of offers” to consider after becoming such a peripheral figure at Old Trafford he has been excluded from Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad and is facing the end of his international career, comprising 119 caps and 53 goals.
Rooney was a late substitute in the 2-0 win against Ajax in the Europa League final, enabling United’s all-time leading scorer to lift the trophy, but that could conceivably have been his last appearance if, as expected, the striker now tries to find a team where he can play more regularly.
“There are lots of offers on the table, both in England and abroad, and that’s what I have to decide on,” Authentic Adidas Alex Womens Jersey Rooney said. “I’ve got some decisions to make now over the next few weeks so I will talk with my family and then I’ll decide. I think I have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do, I’ll do that the next few weeks with my family while I’m away and as soon as I know what’s going on I’m sure you will.”
Rooney’s diminished position at Old Trafford has led to him being left out of Southgate’s last two squads, having been omitted from the 25-man party for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow on 10 June and the friendly against France in Paris three days later. Southgate also left him out of England’s games against Germany and Lithuania in March and, at the age of 31, Rooney’s 14-year international career could be over.
“Listen, first of all I’ve always been a team player,” he said, to the question of whether a player of his stature had found it difficult adjusting to life on the sidelines. “This year, I’ve never once sulked or let my head drop. I’ve understood what was best for the team, I’ve tried to help when the manager’s played me.
“Of course I want to play. http://www.authenticdetroitredwings.com/authentic-bob-probert-jersey I want to be on the pitch, of course. A younger me would have been a lot more frustrated. I think I understand what’s right and what’s needed for the club, and I respect that. Obviously I’m happy to be part of that and in some way help the club win trophies, and that’s the way it’s been over the last year. That’s the decision I have to make now – whether I want to continue doing that or go on and play more regular football.”
Rooney was asked whether, deep down, he had already made up his mind. “More or less, yes,” he said. “I still believe I could [play every game]. If you’re asking me if I’m a better player now than I was 10 years ago then obviously I’m not but I still feel I’ve got other qualities that can help the team.”
Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, has talked about the possibility of the striker returning to the club where his career started and, though Rooney did not directly mention that option, he reiterated that he would not be tempted by any other English teams. “I’ve played for two Premier League clubs and they’re the only two Premier League clubs I’ll play for.”
It is certainly hard to see a way back for Rooney on the international scene after Southgate’s squad decision placed him firmly behind Marcus Rashford, Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the pecking order
Southgate said: “We have a lot of players playing exceptionally well in the area of the pitch that Wayne plays. I said last time [in March] that he was a bit short of matches – he’s had some matches now but we’ve got players that have done really, really well for us in Adam Lallana and Dele Alli. I can’t dress it up any other way. Other players are in really good form and deserve to keep their place.”
When asked what this meant for Rooney’s international future, Southgate added: “I’ve showed that, by selecting Jermain Defoe at 34, if players are playing well and the moment’s right then we will involve them in the squad. Adidas Calle Jarnkrok Youth Jersey You never write off a player of Wayne’s quality and I’m sure that, next season, he’ll be back to playing. He’s finished the season a bit better and I’m sure he’ll take that into next year.”
Turning to the two matches he is preparing for, the England manager said: “The Scotland game is one of football’s great fixtures. We’re in a place in the group where a win can really put us in a very strong position, and that’s what we want to achieve.
“France is a great challenge for us. Our ambition with our friendly matches is to play the best possible teams – we’ve done that by playing Spain and Germany already. http://www.authenticnashvillepredators.com/authentic-craig-smith-jersey They’re teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve. A game in the Stade de France will be a brilliant occasion for the players.”