After dropping Wayne Rooney from the starting XI for Tuesday's Champions League match against Real Madrid, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his intent to give the out of favor striker to Arsenal for nothing in return.
"We've realized that there would only be a handful of clubs that could afford Wayne's wages," Ferguson told reporters. "So to spare him the indignity of being sold for less than Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll, we're just going to give him to Arsenal for free. We'll even continue to pay him. Because, frankly, we feel a bit bad about the Robin van Persie business. They gave us Robin -- who has been absolutely tremendous -- for just £22.5 million and they're having a tough time now, so it would make us feel less guilty if we just send them Wayne free of charge and call it even. Maybe we'll take Theo Walcott. And Cazorla. But that's it."
Rooney has scored 12 goals and set up 12 more in 26 Premier League and Champions League appearances this season, yet he has still been deemed less than essential with the additions of Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa.
Rumors of Man United's interest to sell Rooney began almost immediately after he played just the final 17 minutes of the 2-1 round of 16 second-leg loss to Madrid. But with wages around £300,000 a week, the potential buyers are severely limited. Man City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are all thought to be uninterested, leaving PSG as the most viable option should the Arsenal deal fall through. Ferguson, however, remains confident that Rooney will be moving to London this summer.
"I spoke to Arsene Wenger and told him he could have Wayne for nothing," Ferguson added. "And then after he got all excited I mentioned taking Walcott and Cazorla and maybe Jack Wilshere. He told me to go f*** myself and then hung up, but that's just how he says 'thank you'. I know he appreciates this."
Wenger couldn't be reached for comment as he was having trouble with the zip on his coat.