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Wayne Rooney has been given the green light to seal a move away from Manchester United and he will now have the final decision on whether he leaves the club in the next week, Yahoo Sport UK understands.
Rooney was committed to finishing the season at United before sealing a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League, but we have been told that he is now considering his position after the financial rewards for moving before next Tuesday’s Chinese transfer deadline expires.
United are open to finalising a deal now as they have been offered ‘substantial’ compensation to release the striker who broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goal scoring record after firing his 250th goal for the club in the 1-1 draw at Stoke last month.
Now Rooney and his advisers have been informed in recent days that will will be allowed to leave the club now, with United keen to allow a player who has given their club more than 12 years the go-ahead to break a contract that is due to run until the summer of 2018.
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao and Beijing Guoan have been linked with mega-money moves for Rooney, with Chinese soccer chiefs eyeing up the striker as the marquee name to spread the message of their ambitious Super League project.
“Wayne has been told he can leave the club now if he wishes, but a lot needs to be finalised before the deadline next week,” our source told us.
“The manager has told him that he can stay until the end of this season and fight for his place, but there is a feeling he may make the move now.”
Mourinho has fuelled rumours that Rooney could be on his way out of United imminently with his comments on the striker’s future at his latest press conference against of the Europa League game against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.
“You’ll have to ask him,” said the United boss. “You have to ask him.
“Of course I can’t guarantee (he will be here). I can’t guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?
“What I can guarantee is that if Wayne one day leaves the club it is not because I want him to leave the club. That’s the only thing I can guarantee.
“I would never push – or try to push – a legend of this club to another destiny.
“So you have to ask him if he sees himself staying in the club for the rest of his career or if he sees himself moving.
“It is not a question for me because I am happy to have him. I don’t want him to leave.”
Rooney’s business advisers believe a move to China will open up huge commercial opportunities in the final phase of his career, with prospect of being the face of the expensively assembled league offering big long-term advertising potential.
The basic wage package being offered will be inflated by enduring sponsorship deals that could continue long after Rooney’s career comes to an end, with the decision on whether he moves now or next summer set to be revealed in the coming days.