Roy Keane: Wayne Rooney’s future at Manchester United is over

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane believes that Wayne Rooney‘s career at Old Trafford is drawing to a close under Jose Mourinho.

The 31-year-old has only managed one Premier League start since December and two 90 minute stints (both against Championship sides) since the turn of the year.

It has been reported in recent months that Rooney will seek a move elsewhere this summer after losing his place in the starting XI at Man United, with former club Everton supposedly leading the race to secure his signature.

And Keane, speaking soon after United’s 2-1 Europa League quarter final win over Anderlecht, was adamant that Rooney’s time at the Theatre of Dreams is more or less over.

“In terms of the bigger picture I’d have thought that’s the end of Wayne at Manchester United,” he said. “He will obviously contribute until the end of the season because of injuries.”

“But he must be fuming not to be brought on. I think that’s the final nail in the coffin for him, definitely.

“Leading scorer at the club, I’d expect him to be fuming, if he’s not fuming then he’s obviously lost the eye of the tiger. He must be like a mad man tonight, he must be.”

It is worth acknowledging the seamlessness with which Rooney has disappeared from the starting XI this season. United fans were, not so long ago, accustomed to the Englishman’s seemingly perennial status in the starting XI, entrenched in the side’s attacking line-up in the face of blatant underachievement.

The status quo is now remarkably different: ask any supporter to draw up their ideal starting XI and many – including myself – would not even think of Rooney.

Mourinho deserves credit for overseeing such a subtle – and very much necessary – transition away from Rooney figuring at the axis of United’s attacking line-up

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