Wayne Rooney’s tabloid ventriloquist says he’s leaving Manchester United for City, but is he?

Both the front and back pages of tabloids have printed his ugly mug in the past few days and not because of one of his many indiscretions.

The reason is purely football, although there is more than a hint of X-Factor-style tabloid gossip about it, but this time even well respected publications such as The Guardian, Telegraph and BBC have got in on the act.

It is of course the media circus the Wayne Rooney has smothered himself in for the past few months, which has now reached a crescendo, as he has stalled on signing a new contract and has allegedly shown an interest in moving to bitter rivals City. But has he?

Like a ventriloquist’s dummy, Rooney has seemingly left the talking to someone more able, in this case the media, who have enthusiastically filled in his thoughts by suggesting a move across the Manchester divide to the blue half is a distinct possibility.

Statement such “Rooney is thought to…” and “a source close to Rooney said…” have littered articles relating to a possible move, without the misfiring forward having uttered a word.

The Sun gave him a voice though by splashing across their front page that he allegedly wants to quit, despite there be no further mention of this in the article from an attributed source.

A source close to Wayne waffled something non-committal from the depths of the papers imagination, United denied his departure and naturally a few other clubs expressed an interest.

Usually such reporting is the exclusive preserve of the ted tops; however the possible transfer of Rooney has also sent the broadsheets into a flutter.

The Guardian is usually the home of informative and entertaining journalism, but the passing of the Rooney transfer bandwagon was clearly too good to pass up, as they enthusiastically clambered aboard, by claiming he “targets move to City.”

Again, this bold claim was made without anyone willingly attaching their name to the story and going on the record, as the best they could muster was one senior figure at Eastlands, who as far the public know could be the head janitor.

The Telegraph was also keen to be involved and said “the possibility of Rooney, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Sunday, swapping red for blue is understood to be an open secret among his team-mates at United.”

Rarely do the tabloids and broadsheets unite in their reporting, especially when in it’s in favour of the red tops shock-journalism.

Obviously Rooney’s possible departure from United is a very newsworthy story and if he moved across the city it would feed the sports pages for weeks.

However, barring casual interest from managers and idle interest from unnamed fellas hanging around Eastlands with mops in hand, there has been nothing concrete to suggest a move is even a possibility.

Tittle-tattle is clearly contagious as the nations rags have succumbed to the Rooney bug.

Whether he does move only time and front page shock headlines will tell, but the insistence of the nation’s newspapers suggests he could well be on his way, or the janitor’s just playing an elaborate game.

Tags: Manchester City, Manchester United

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Tom Parkinson 19 October 2010 at 12:32pm

First sensible piece I have read on all of this nonsense about Rooney. Its all negotiation tactics to secure a better contract. He’s playing a dangerous game doing this with Fergie at the helm, and it is possible he will leave in the Summer if a new deal hasn’t been signed, but I think there is a maximum of 5% chance of that happening.

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