Less than 24 hours after he broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s record to become the all-time leading goalscorer for Manchester United, Wayne Rooney has been told by United boss Jose Mourinho that he will not stand in his way if Rooney wants to leave Old Trafford for China.
Reports out of China suggest that Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande and Super League rivals Beijing Guoan are prepared to make Rooney the highest paid player in the world with a staggering £700,000-a-week offer to lure him away from Manchester United this summer.
Mourinho understands the 31-year-old United and England skipper, who scored his record 250th goal for the club in Saturday’s draw at Stoke, may be tempted because he is no longer a regular under him and says the decision will be Rooney’s.
“I don’t know, it’s up to him,” said the Special One.
“I don’t like to be critical of players who decide to go to China. It’s their life, it’s their organisation of their life, their organisation of their career.
“The money is huge. The experience can also be interesting.
“I know some of my colleagues think they are more important than they are and think they can interfere in the lives of other people, but I’m not that sort of guy.
“Everybody is responsible for their own life. I’m not critical with anyone.
“To be honest, in Wayne’s case, I have no idea because he has never mentioned it to me.”
One man who would like to see him make the switch is his former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson, who is in charge of second division Shenzhen FC.
“He has to make that decision together with his family and agent and so on, but why not?” said Eriksson.
“China today is a great place to live.
“If you have never been in China, you don’t believe your eyes when you come here today. And I’m sure Rooney could play in any team here.”
Mourinho claims it is for Rooney, whose contract runs until June 2019, to decide what is next but feels he does still have a future at Old Trafford.
“You will have to ask him,” he said.
“I think the future belongs to him and what he wants in his career.
“The way he wants to end it, the way he wants to enjoy the last part of his, that belongs to him.
“I think he has more to give us.
“I repeat, he reaches a certain level in his career when it is up to him.
“Could anyone have been critical of Zlatan if last summer he decided to go to China or USA, one guy who has had an amazing career?
“It is the same with Wayne.
“He owns his career. It is him, his family and his decision, but of course, yes, I see him making an important contribution for us.”