Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney seemed on course for an exit from the club, but his actions seem to indicate otherwise. Evening Standard reports that Rooney is back in training much earlier than scheduled. After being criticised for poor form throughout the campaign, the striker did get some much-needed game time towards the end of the season. Even then, he has been continuously linked with a move away from the club with the Chinese Super League reported as one of the possible destinations.
The 31-year-old, though, appears intent on impressing manager Jose Mourinho so much so that he has returned to training earlier than scheduled. The striker is already looking forward to getting back into shape, even though United do not begin their pre-season tour until the second week of July. Rooney has been on holiday over the last couple of weeks, but he has returned to United’s Carrington facility much earlier than expected. The club’s all-time leading goalscorer may very well believe that the extra few weeks of preparation will help him gain a much-needed edge over his teammates.
Last season, Rooney was certainly not at his best and it was not a surprise to see him dropped in favour of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for much of the first half of the campaign. He managed to get some game time in the latter stages primarily due to the injuries to several players. After winning the Europa League with the club, Rooney was asked a question about his future. He had said:
“I’ve got decisions to make now over the next few weeks, have a word with my family, and then I’ll decide. I think I just have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do.”
The uncertain future of the 31-year-old has been further enhanced by Manchester United being linked with several top strikers like Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid and Andrea Belotti of Torino. Rooney still has two years left on his contract, but it is believed that United may be ready to let the player leave on a free transfer so as to free up the wages. Rooney is one of the highest earning players in the squad with wages of around £300,000 per week.
The lack of game time with United has also meant that Rooney’s status has declined as far as the England national team goes. He has lost the captain’s armband and has not featured in the last two games for England under Gareth Southgate. Rooney has always come back from a period of adversity, and it’s obvious that he’s putting the hard work in order to do the same once again.