Bryan Robson has warned Wayne Rooney “the grass is not always greener” and the England striker will find it very difficult to match life at Manchester United.
Though David Moyes has repeated a club mantra that Rooney is not for sale, the player has yet to match that sentiment, with the new United boss skirting round the issue when he addressed the former Everton man’s intentions on Friday.
Rooney did attend yesterday’s high-profile sponsorship launch for Russian airline Aeroflot at Old Trafford and is said to have returned for pre-season training in positive spirits and good condition, which has not always been the case.
Yet his future remains uncertain, with Chelsea and Arsenal amongst the domestic rivals said to be interested in the 27-year-old, along with cash-rich Paris St Germain.
Robson accepts Rooney must be left to reach his own decision.
However, he has advised the striker to think very carefully before opting to sever ties with the club that has been his home for nine seasons.
“Sometimes when you are a great footballer you do look and wonder whether the grass is greener somewhere other than where you are,” said Robson.
“But once this club and its fans embrace you it is very difficult to surpass it, or even get the same.
“Wayne has everything he could possibly want at this football club and as a supporter, I want to see the best players playing here.”
The ongoing issue would appear to revolve around Alex Ferguson’s claim at the end of last season that Rooney had requested a move.
It is a statement the player denies making and fearing a backlash from supporters who have not forgotten his high-profile transfer request in 2010, wants the public to accept.
Given the individuals involved, that seems an impossible hope.
“Hopefully they do resolve any issues there are,” said Robson.
“It is very obvious all the squad and the manager want Wayne to be playing his football here next season.
“All you have to do is look back to Ronaldo at the World Cup when he had the incident with Wayne. After two games, he was playing fantastically well for us, everybody forgot about it and now everyone loves him.
“That is the scenario for Wayne. If he starts the season, scores a few goals and enjoys his football, the fans will forgive anything there is to forgive him for.”
Given United ensured Moyes and his entire first-team squad, including Bebe and Federico Macheda, new-boy Wilfried Zaha and injured duo Chris Smalling and Ashley Young attended yesterday’s event, it is clear some significance — and no little finance — is attached to it.
It is likely to be the first of many too judging by the way United’s commercial arm has expanded under the Glazer regime, although it appears Moyes was prepared for that.
“I was made very aware by the previous manager that this club has lots of sponsors and that is very much part of the job,” said Moyes. “I am delighted to have another on board.”
Moyes offered no insight into the potential signing of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, which is said to be reaching its conclusion though.
“Not today,” he said, when asked if there had been any developments.
“I couldn’t tell you anything.”
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