Rooney's time at Man Utd nearing an end?

Published August 29th, 2012 - 11:31 GMT

Wayne Rooney fears he may be sold by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, with The Daily Mirror reporting that the club are preparing to offload the England striker.

The 26-year-old’s relationship with Ferguson is said to have broken down beyond repair, with the Old Trafford hierarchy believed to be willing to consider sanctioning a transfer should the club receive an offer of 40 million pounds ($63 million).

The Mirror claims that Ferguson feels he has sufficient options in his front line with Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

Rooney’s underwhelming performance in the 1-0 loss against Everton on the opening day of the season is thought to have been the last straw for Ferguson, who dropped the England international for the club’s next game against Fulham.

The player’s lack of fitness was cited as the reason for his exclusion in the match XI, but there is said to have been a complete breakdown in relations between the forward and his manager.

Rooney has been the subject of a series of embarrassing tabloid scandals, which stretch back over the past few years, culminating with the striker’s announcement in 2010 that he would be seeking to leave United for Manchester City, only for him to back down and sign an improved contract to remain at Old Trafford.

Ferguson had asked United officials to do all they could to help the club retain the services of their talismanic striker, with the Scottish manager instrumental in convincing the club to offer the player a pay rise to 250,000 pounds a week.

But the United boss is said to have grown frustrated by Rooney’s lack of commitment, leading to speculation that the player might be sold in January or next summer.

Theo Walcott has rejected a new contract offer from Arsenal, prompting rumors that the player could be sold in the coming days to Manchester City or Liverpool.

The 23-year-old winger is understood to have turned down a five-year contract worth 75,000 pounds a week.

Talks are expected to continue between the club and the player, who has expressed a willingness to remain at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal are keen to hold on to the player, but both the BBC and the Guardian have reported that unless an agreement is reached soon he will be sold before Friday’s transfer deadline.

Arsenal have stressed to Walcott that they invested considerable faith in the England international when they brought him to the club from Southampton, and have indicated that unless he is willing to commit his future he will be sold in the coming days.

Both Liverpool and City have shown interest in signing Walcott, and it is understood that these clubs will be encouraged to make an offer for the player should no agreement between the club and the 23-year-old be reached.

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Fulham for Belgian international Moussa Dembele, signaling the end of Rafael van der Vaart’s time at White Hart Lane.

Spurs have agreed to pay the 15 million pounds release clause in the 25-year-old’s contract, with the player having undergone a medical at the club late Tuesday.

Man United had been keen on bringing the Belgian to Old Trafford, after an eye-catching performance last Saturday, but Tottenham appear to have got their man.

Van der Vaart, while happy at Spurs, has been seeking a move to Germany where his wife is a successful media personality, and is said to be keen on a return to his former club Hamburg.

Reports in the British media suggest that Chelsea are contemplating a last ditch attempt to sign German striker Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen, with Blues boss Roberto di Matteo known to be keen to add a striker to his squad before the Friday’s transfer deadline.

The Champions League winners failed with an earlier bid of 16 million pounds, with Leverkusen determined to hang on to the player and maintaining that Schurrle is not for sale.

Chelsea are said to be willing to up their bid for the 21-year-old, and are thought to be confident that a transfer can be completed.

Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has flown to Italy for talks with Fiorentina, after the two clubs agreed a deal for the 31-year-old Bulgarian player, a source close to the player has revealed.

Matthew Rowlands

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