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Real Madrid linked with £25m Rooney swoop

ESPN staff
January 21, 2014
United closing in on Mata as Madrid eye Rooney

Real Madrid are planning a £25 million summer move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, according to several reports in the British press.

Rooney has 18 months remaining on his contract at Old Trafford but United have so far refrained from selling one of their star assets, particularly to domestic rivals Chelsea; the club turned down two separate bids from the Blues last summer.

However, Rooney has been reluctant to sign a new deal with the Premier League champions and although United are hopeful that the signing of Juan Mata would prove their ambitions, the striker is thought to be assessing his options and would be prepared to see out his contract in 2015 if necessary.

United currently sit seventh in the Premier League, six points adrift of a Champions League place, while David Moyes has struggled to make a desired impact in the transfer market. Moyes only strengthened his squad with one summer recruit, bringing in Marouane Fellaini from former club Everton last summer.

And with Madrid seeing several of their key 'Galatico' targets commit their future elsewhere, Moyes could now face a fight to keep Rooney in Manchester.

Madrid have long been linked with moves for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, but both players have now signed long-term deals at their respective clubs.

Aguero penned a new contract last May, which will keep him at the Etihad until the summer of 2017, while Suarez signed a fresh four-and-a-half year deal with Liverpool in December. Jose Mourinho recently claimed that United would be prepared to sell Rooney abroad, but the Portuguese is expected to mount a third bid for him at the end of the season.

Rooney has sat out United's last four games with a groin injury and was sent to Egypt with a fitness coach for a warm-weather break. However, he could be in the frame for the League Cup semi-final second leg against Sunderland on Wednesday.

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