A.His contract expires in summer 2012 but his value will depreciate steadily until then, meaning United’s best chance of getting a big fee will be in January. In theory he could buy out his contract then for £7m, using the Webster ruling, but Europe’s top clubs have agreed not to exploit that legal loophole.
Q.what team is he most likely to join?
A.Manchester City are the hot favourites and are able to outbid mooted rivals Chelsea and Real Madrid. Rooney seems willing to cross town; the question is whether United and Sir Alex Ferguson would sanction the deal.
Q.Do Man Utd need to sell him?
A.The club’s £720m debt pile bleeds £40m in interest from the club’s coffers every year, so Rooney’s sale would certainly ease that burden. But that benefit has to be weighed up against increasing the risk of damage to United’s finances by missing out on Champions League qualification.
Q.What could he earn at United and elsewhere?
A.City are said to be ready to make him the best paid player in Britain, on £230,000 a week, or £12m a year. United are thought unlikely to go above £150,000 a week, the same as Chelsea’s highest earner John Terry.