Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has fuelled speculation that Wayne Rooney’s 13 years at Old Trafford are drawing to a close by admitting his captain could leave before next season.
Rooney, 31, has lost his status as a certain starter for club and country in an injury-hit campaign, leading to suggestions he could be tempted by a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
“You have to ask him. How can I guarantee he will be here next season?” said Mourinho when asked about the striker’s future.
“If he one day leaves the club it’s not because I want him to leave. I would never push or try to push a legend out of this club.”
Mourinho confirmed Rooney would miss tonight’s Europa League match at Saint-Etienne, having just resumed training following an injury, and would be a doubt for Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton.
Rooney, who broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time United goalscoring record last month, could leave as soon as in the next few days as China’s transfer window does not close until Tuesday.