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Manchester United: Rooney can leave; two on Ballon D’Or shortlist; recognition for Rashford

The Sun claim that under fire Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told club captain Wayne Rooney that if he wants first team football, he must leave Old Trafford and the Portuguese boss will not stand in his way. Rooney is believed to have offers from the US and China on the table after being dropped by Mourinho last month and has struggled to re-establish himself having lost his place for both club and country.

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Rooney is said to be reluctant to leave after 12 years at the club and on a £300,000 a week contract, but may be forced out by Mourinho with a major pay day abroad a tempting opportunity for the former Everton sensation. Mourinho is hoping to use his wages on one of the players he is targetting, such as Antoine Griezmann, with club bosses becoming reluctant to continue to invest whilst results on the field fail to match spending off it.

Two of those summer signings which have not come cheap for the club are Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and both have now been nominated by journalists for the Ballon D’Or award for 2016 after the 30 man shortlist was announced yesterday. Both players enjoyed fine starts to the season with Juventus and Paris Saint Germain respectively, but the Swede has certainly had the more fruitful start to life at Old Trafford.

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Both have been disappointing in recent weeks and are unlikely to be real contenders for the award, but it is a statement of intent for the club to have two players on the shortlist, with former Red Devil Cristiano Ronaldo the favourite to win.

Another play in contention for an award was Marcus Rashford, though he eventually finished as the runner up for the Golden Boy Award, which was won by summer target Renato Sanches who is now at Bayern Munich after Euro 2016 victory with Portugal in the summer.

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It is a remarkable achievement for the England international to even be in contention for the award after breaking through to the first team under Louis Van Gaal, and he has remained a key player under Jose Mourinho this term.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.

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