Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has suggested that Wayne Rooney may leave the club if his playing time doesn’t increase sometime soon.
The United captain surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in January but is struggling to regularly start games. He has been benched in every Premier League game since December 17 and has been linked with a move to China since.
The striker has two more seasons left on his current contract, but his former teammate Scholes is not sure Rooney will see out his contract. He told the Daily Mail:
“If it carries on going the way it is, I can’t (see him staying for two more years). Maybe it will be re-assessed at the end of the season if he’s in and out of the team. I don’t see him as a player who will accept that. He will want to be at a team where he’s playing every week.”
The 31-year-old has been at United since 2004 and has been a regular feature in the team for the last 13 years. However, since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, the England captain is struggling to hold down a place amongst strong competition.
He has to challenge Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for a starting spot. Despite being United’s all-time top scorer with 250 goals, Mourinho often prefers the experience of Ibrahimovic or youth of Rashford up-front.
Although his future may be uncertain, Rooney must now concentrate on helping his team finish the season strong. United are currently sixth in the league, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea. They face AS Saint-Etienne in the Europa League on Thursday night, before playing Blackburn in the FA Cup this weekend.
The return leg of that Europa League tie follows before United face Southampton at Wembley in the League Cup final. The team are playing four games in 10 days, meaning rotation will be key for Mourinho and Rooney may get a decent run of starts.