Wayne Rooney is wooed by Barcelona as Spaniards try to unsettle United

20 January 2010 01:55
Manchester United's uncertain financial future has prompted Spanish giant Barcelona to try to unsettle Old Trafford's most valuable asset, Wayne Rooney.

With the Premier League champions more than £700million in debt and unable to guarantee significant spending on transfers, Europe's biggest club are wondering if players such as Rooney may become available.

Battle Royale: Wayne Rooney clashes with Carlos Tevez during Manchester United's clash with neighbours City in the Carling Cup semi-finals

Barcelona appeared to kick off a campaign to attract his attention onTuesday by apparently leaking a story to Spanish newspaper El MundoDeportivo claiming that the striker has told former United team-mateGerard Pique  now at the Catalan club - that he 'would love to play forBarcelona'.

While there is unlikely to be any substance to that part of the story, the fact Barcelona are happy to make their interest known - there have been several links to Rooney in the Spanish media in recent weeks - suggests United are beginning to look vulnerable.

Love story: Barca are after Rooney

Last week's bond issue is aimed at raising £500m to alleviate theclub's debt and the prospectus that accompanied the issue revealedUnited may one day have to sell players, possibly even Old Trafford, ifthings get worse.

Now it has emerged that the small print of thebonds document allows owners the Glazers to take almost £120m in cashout of the club in the next financial year.

Disappointed: Wayne Rooney walks from the pitch after United's 2-1 defeat at Eastlands

City analysts believe the primary reason behind the bonds issue is to enable the Glazers to remove money from the club in order to reduce the sums they owe to three hedge funds, which currently stands at more than £200m.

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Source: Daily_Mail