The owner of the yet to be formed MLS franchise Los Angeles FC, Tom Penn has admitted his interest in bringing current Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney to the MLS in time for the side’s first game which will be in 2018.
In recent weeks Rooney has found Premier League game time hard to come by, being overtaken in the pecking order by the likes of Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata who have been impressive when called upon by Jose Mourinho this season. It looks as if Rooney will have to accept the role of a bit-part player if he wishes to remain at United beyond the next transfer window. An ageing player who is in decline it seems as if Rooney isn’t good enough to compete in the Premier League anymore, so he’s been reduced to appearances in the Europa League and EFL primarily.
“Wayne Rooney is an example of the calibre of player we are looking to bring to LA FC. He is one of 10 names we are looking at, but we are a long way from signing anybody up right now. We are still 18 months away from our first MLS game, so we will see if players of Rooney’s status and reputation are interested.”
Penn’s comments could be the good news that some United fans have been waiting years for, as there is confirmed interest in the once world-class talent who is now no more than a hindrance to the progression of United. A move to the MLS would suit Rooney, with the slower tempo to the play and a more relaxed lifestyle, it could be ideal for the man who is on course to become United’s all-time leading goal scorer. This transfer is also made even more likely since it potentially wouldn’t happen for another 18 months. It’s hard to see Rooney leaving Old Trafford until he has broken the goal scoring record, so if he can’t break it in the next 18 months then he certainly doesn’t deserve to break it.
Penn also acknowledged that Rooney’s global brand image was one of the reasons that he would be looking to bring him to Los Angeles:
“But LA FC is a club with the ambition to match its surroundings, so it is important for us to attract players with a global reputation.”
Rooney is certainly a shirt seller, and his name carries weight around the globe, so if he was to sign for Los Angeles FC then it would certainly get people talking about the club, and potentially even have people buying shirts of the club, with Rooney’s name on the back. This in addition to whatever he may still be able to provide on the pitch does make him a tempting asset for an MLS side.