Coach Mourinho Prepares to Axe Wayne Rooney Amidst Club Crisis
Mourinho no longer sees United captain Rooney as having a primary role in his side, and is looking to make further changes in January that will require further sales.
The Beyond the Pitch podcast had reported on Monday night that Mourinho – who denied that he wanted to sell Rooney on Sunday – has told the 31-year-old’s agent he will have to leave to secure regular football, and sources have said the Portuguese would welcome the funds to refresh his squad.
Mourinho wants to bring in at least one full-back – initially prioritising the right side, with Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Monaco’s Fabinho the top targets – as well as the commanding centre-back he did not get in the summer, and more pace up front.
United now see Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as their top target for the next year, although there is acknowledgement it will be a difficult deal to pull off. It could be even more difficult to move Rooney on, however, because of his huge wages.
To secure a similar deal, Rooney would likely have to join one of the big-spending Chinese Super League clubs, although sources say he does not currently have an interest in going there, with an MLS franchise in Miami or New York seen as a more likely destination.
Sources say Mourinho has also been underwhelmed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined from Borussia Dortmund this summer, and England left-back Luke Shaw, but the United hierarchy do not wish to sell either player.
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