February 24 – England captain Wayne Rooney has ended talk of a possible move to China saying he wants to remain at Manchester United.
The player is one of many current and former players facing multi-million pound tax demands under changed tax rules governing formerly tax-free investments in film funds. Rooney is one of the lucky few who would be able to trade out of this tax demand and a big money move to China would have helped that. Many of his peers have not been so lucky with many having been placed in bankruptcy and many more expected to join them.
On the China speculation Rooney said: “Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I’m grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United.”
British media had reported that Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, was in China to see if he could negotiate a lucrative deal for him to join the exodus to the Chinese Super League where the transfer window closes on Tuesday.
Rooney has been unable to command a regular starting place under manager Jose Mourinho and his contract expires after the 2017-2018 season.
In January he broke Bobby Charlton’s club goal-scoring record but has fallen behind the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford in the competition for a first-team place.
In fact Rooney has not kicked a ball for United since making a substitute appearance against Hull City on February 1, but in his statement, on United’s website, he added: “I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts.”
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