Manchester United: Rooney exit on the cards; Fonte bid prepared; Gabigol update

The arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the emergence of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford could spell the end to Wayne Rooney’s illustrious Old Trafford career as the Mirror report that a number of MLS clubs are monitoring his situation and are prepared to offer huge money for the England captain in order to tempt him into a move to the USA rather than to China. The move marks continued attempts by the MLS to persuade the world’s biggest stars to join their ranks, with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa already there.

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With three years left to run on Rooney’s £300,000 a week contract, it seems unlikely that a move will take place this year, particularly with Rooney still at only 30-years-old. However, his future at Old Trafford is unclear, with Mourinho having stated that he doesn’t see the club captain as a central midfielder and seemingly no room for him to fit into the line-up as a striker. With Sam Allardcye naming a new England captain this week with no guarantee that Rooney will retain the armband, he may just be tempted to cash in on the last few years of his career.

Talking of Premier League captains, Southampton star Jose Fonte’s future is still uncertain despite his questionable performance at Old Trafford on Friday night. Jose Mourinho wants to bring his compatriot to Manchester and the Sun claim that a £12 million bid is being prepared as the club face competition from Fonte’s former manager at Saints, Ronald Koeman, now in charge at Everton.

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Fonte would be a solid addition who would lend experience and reliability to the back line, even if he may not be the star name or quality option that many have been hoping for. Fonte has been superb for Southampton since joining the club when they were in League 1 and capped off the rise with a Euro 2016 victory with Portugal this summer, having previously been ditched by Crystal Palace. United want to secure his services but it seems unlikely that they will allow themselves to get involved in a bidding war with Everton over him, with other options available in the market and in United’s own ranks already.

A potential long term replacement for Rooney may be Brazilian Olympic gold medal winner Gabigol. The Express claim that now his Olumpics participation is over, it is time for him to decide which club he wants to sign for as United form one fifth of a transfer battle alongside Chelsea, Leicester, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan in the hunt for the left sided forward. Also known as Gabriel Barbosa, he shone in his nation’s Olympics victory and it’s believed that the price tag on his head is £30 million.

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United will do well to secure his services given the Brazilian contingent at Chelsea and Champions League football on offer at both Leicester and Atletico Madrid, but Barbosa could be tempted to work with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. Either way, it seems that the Santos man will make his mind up in the coming days and would add even more competition up front for the Red Devils.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.

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