Rooney reveals he was ‘ready’ to leave Man Utd for Barcelona or Real Madrid

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Wayne Rooney has revealed he was “ready” to join Real Madrid or Barcelona when he handed in a transfer request at Manchester United 10 years ago.

The former England skipper expressed his desire to leave the Red Devils in October 2010 after questioning the club’s ambition and ability to attract top players.

The news sparked a scramble among the game’s elite clubs as they attempted to lure Rooney away from Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were believed to be frontrunners for his signature, as were bitter rivals Manchester City.

Rooney has now revealed that Real and Barca were also in the frame, and that he was tempted with a move to La Liga.

“I think it was well documented that Chelsea and Mourinho wanted to sign me,” Rooney told the UTD Podcast.

“There was Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Man City thing kept cropping up, but there was never the option for me to go there.

“Although there were rumours on that as well, but the other three, really, were more realistic options.

“In my head, at the time, in that two-day period, I was ready to go and play in Spain.

“Ideally, I would have liked to have gone to Barcelona, but it was looking more likely to be Real Madrid than Barcelona. Chelsea were always there as well.

“To be honest, it was two or three days where there was communication between myself and them, or my representatives and team.

“I remember sitting down for one day and thinking ‘imagine playing in that Barcelona team – Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets’. And at that time Messi wasn’t playing the way he plays now, as a no.9 for instance. He was out wide.

“I was thinking I could have slotted in perfectly. I could have come to the ball as well and have players running in behind.”

Rooney famously performed a drastic U-turn just two days after handing in his transfer request, signing a new five-year contract after talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson and chairman David Gill.

“After a couple of days, I spoke to David Gill again and when there were those protests at my house, I’d actually already agreed to sign the new contract by that time,” he added.

“I was thinking “Jesus”, it was three o’clock in the morning and I didn’t fancy going out to calm down 20 or 30 lads with their hoods up!”


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