Number one item on new Manchester United manager David Moyes’ agenda when settles into that big chair at Old Trafford on Monday will have a simple title “Wayne Rooney.” As the player sits down with his former and current manager, the task facing Moyes will be to either get the recalcitrant Rooney to either toe the line, or accept that his time at the club is at an end. Should the latter be the case, a certain Frenchman domiciled in north London will be waiting.
Arsenal, so long the skinflint buyes of the Premier League top boys, are trying to demonstrate that the leopard can change its spots, and throw open the door to Arsene Wenger’s fabled war chest of transfer funds. Press reports will not go away that say the Gunners have got a package together that will convince Rooney to move to London.
With the public prompting of major shareholder Usmanov, the club are thought to be prepared to make the money available for the transfer fee, and meet the player’s wage demands, thought to total 3200k per week. It will blow the club’s wage structure asunder, but the rumours of the deal being available are too persistent for there not to be any truth in them.
The problem is of course, is that should Rooney become available, Arsenal wouldn’t be the only option for the player. PSG, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and latterly Barcelona have all been linked with a move for the player. The Gunners feel however that with the prospect of offering Rooney the opportunity to link up with fellow England internationals Wilshire, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlin – plus the apparently imminent arrival of Higuain - that they hold a strong hand. Couple this the prospect of working under Arsene Wenger, the manager most like his Old Trafford mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, and you can see what the deal is.
For Arsenal securing Rooney and Higuain may just be the sort of commitment to move forward that may be required to demonstrate to Wenger that there’s sound merit in him signing a new contract at the club, and keeping him from the clutches of PSG.