- Premier League
Newcastle 'preparing shock bid' for Rooney
Newcastle United are reportedly preparing an astonishing approach for Manchester United's wantaway star Wayne Rooney.
SportsDirect.com, owned by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, claims "low-level" talks have taken place between the Magpies and Rooney's agent, although an official offer is yet to be lodged.
Rooney recently stunned his Old Trafford employers for a second time by requesting a transfer. Sir Alex Ferguson claimed the England international was fed up with being left on the bench for important matches.
Regarded as one of the best forwards in Europe, Rooney has been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, although the latter recently revealed he is not on the club's radar.
The SportsDirect.com source, said to be close to the negotiations, is quoted as saying: "Newcastle see Wayne as their ideal player. He's a strong centre-forward, would relate to the fans and would be a massive boost to the club's brand name.
"Low-level conversations have already been held between Newcastle and Rooney's agent, though the two clubs haven't spoken directly yet."
Whether new United boss David Moyes is prepared to sell Rooney - to Newcastle or any club - remains a point for debate after the Scot recently spoke in glowing terms of his former Everton asset.
"Wayne Rooney was and is an exceptional talent," Moyes was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. "When we sold him to Manchester United, he was fantastic. When he left Everton, he was already an outstanding player.
"He was brilliant, some of the stuff he did. He was football-mad - every training session he would run out, volleying the ball everywhere. He was just a really good 16-year-old footballer but the thing was, he could have left training and then gone out into the street and played with his pals and thought nothing of it.
"A lot of people use the terminology 'street footballer' and I really think Wayne was the last of the classic street footballers. You could see him in the street, hitting the ball against the walls with his friends. Part of that culture has gone but, coming from Glasgow, I knew what it was like. I do think Wayne really was the last true street footballer I have worked with."