Wayne Rooney has been offered the chance to reinvigorate his career after receiving an invitation to play in the Chinese Super League.
The 30-year-old has been omitted from Jose Mourinho’s last three starting line-ups in light of several catastrophic performances.
Rumours of a potential move to China have circulated ever since president Xi Jinping launched an initiative to make China a superpower in world football.
According to Li Jiuquan, the Chinese FA marketing direction, there is a strong desire amongst China’s football chiefs to lure the England captain to China.
“Even my young son knows all about Rooney and I have taken a picture of his shirt. If Rooney played in the Chinese super league it would attract huge attention, not only inside China but on television worldwide, and give the CSL huge exposure globally. Maybe only Messi and Ronaldo are more famous.
“I can very much see Wayne Rooney playing in China. I’m sure China will become an end-of-career option for some players.”
The physical intensity of the Premier League is, as shown in glaring fashion under Mourinho, simply too much for Rooney. It is worth noting that the Englishman has never played fewer than 42 games a season since the age of 16. And with his 31st birthday on the horizon, the captain has – to deploy a overused but accurate term – too many miles on the clock.
A move to China, therefore, makes perfect sense for Rooney. The benefits are evident: he would, after all, be playing at a standard that aligns with his fading ability; he would become a central aspect to the footballing revolution evolving in China – a movement that has seen the likes of Ramires, Jackson Martinez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Hulk and Manchester United legend Demba Ba.
What’s more, the 30-year-old would leave an environment of immense scrutiny and derision, and embrace a football-mad country that virtually worships him.