What does the immediate future hold for Wayne Rooney at United? And what will be the reaction of fans, players and authoritarian Alex Ferguson?

Much has been written about Wayne Rooney’s impending departure from Manchester United.

Ambition, money, greed and agent-written-statement are all phrases that have been bandied about in reference to what is now truly a saga at Old Trafford.

Whatever the reasoning behind his decision and at which money-pit he eventually ends up is for now, one for the theorists, but what of his immediate future?

Rooney’s discontent manifested itself this season in a career low dip in form, which at times made him look like a bad version of John Stead, but seemingly very few people inside the club were quite aware of his level of dissatisfaction.

Club captain and master-merker Rio Ferdinand clearly had no idea of Rooney’s desire to leave, as he revealed his surprise on his Twitter page.

A statement from Rooney released on Wednesday read: “He did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad.

“For me it’s all about winning trophies – as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.”

Whether his words were motivated by greed, ambition, or a break down in a relationship with Ferguson is perhaps reserved for a tabloid exclusive, but his actions could have an immediate and divisive affect amongst United fans.

By confidently marching to Ferguson and chief executive David Gill and demanding assurances about the future of the team, Rooney sought to elevate himself above the position of a player and to that of management, by dictating the running of the club, which would undoubtedly not sit well with the authoritarian Ferguson.

Now as one of the club’s most prized and valuable possessions, fans and observers might argue he has a right to enquire about the future of the club, especially considering the financial predicament that the Glazers have brought on the club.

However important he is to United though, he is not anything more than a soldier to be deployed as Ferguson sees fit and his actions could be seen by fans as a declaration that he is bigger than the club.

If he were allowed to start having an influence of future signings and the direction of the club, it could set a dangerous precedent at United, as other players could choose to do the same, which would ultimately undermine Ferguson’s position as the unquestionable leader of the club.

Rooney said with importance “It is absolutely true, as [Ferguson] said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract.”

“During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.”

His statement though might not be treated with contempt by some elements of the United fanbase, in particular the green and gold anti-Glazer mob, who could now use Rooney as a poster boy for the hatred of the club’s owners.

The overall reaction of the fans to his next appearance at Old Trafford will be interesting to behold, as he has turned his back on a club that helped to mould him from an exciting talent into a player, who at his best can be a world class footballer.

Perhaps what would be more interesting to see though is the reaction that he will get from his own teammates, who if Ferdinand’s reaction to Rooney’s statement is to be believed, had no idea of his impending departure.

The frequency of his appearances in the United starting line-up will also be a fascinating sideshow and will hint at how badly fractured the relationship between player and manager truly is, as the proud Ferguson will surely have no qualms about letting Rooney stew in the reserves and occasionally on the bench.

Rooney did try and offer a meek olive branch to Ferguson, by saying of him “For Manchester United’s sake, I wish he could go on forever because he’s a one-off and a genius,” but whether this is enough to ensure he has a comfortable ride at United until the January transfer window opens, only time will tell.

Tags: Manchester United, Wayne Rooney

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Chrisw 21 October 2010 at 1:04pm

“By confidently marching to Ferguson and chief executive David Gill and demanding assurances about the future of the team, Rooney sought to elevate himself above the position of a player and to that of management, by dictating the running of the club”

Oh come on. It’s quite normal when trying to attract new signings to stress the ambition of the club and its willingness and ability to buy other top players. Rooney is in the same situation as he’s being asked to sign a new contract. It’s up to the club to persuade him to sign and to address any doubts and worries he or his agent have.

Dan Mobbs 21 October 2010 at 1:21pm

I understand what you’re saying Chrisw, as Rooney will want his ambition reflected in the club.

However, I felt that when he started questioning the calibre and reputation of the clubs’ recent and future signings he was trying to elevate his position from kicker of the ball to boardroom pen-pusher.

It could be argued that these concerns are legitimate, as he’s a valuable part of the team, but surely these worries should only be voiced within the confines of the club. To publically wash his dirty laundry seems disrespectful to United and also detrimental to his remaining time at the club, as he surely now faces a difficult few months until the January transfer window opens.

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