Wayne Rooney: I was ready to move to Spain in 2010
Rooney almost left United in 2010
Wayne Rooney has revealed he wanted to join Barcelona during his time at Manchester United.
The former United and England captain, now a player-coach at Derby County, set the record straight on a turbulent period of his United career, when he was the centre of a contract fiasco, while speaking on the Utd Podcast.
After handing in a transfer request in 2010, a year after Cristiano Ronaldo had left the club, Rooney was the victim of protests outside his house, but ended up staying in Manchester for another seven years before moving to D.C. United and then to Derby.
At the time of the uncertainty, Barcelona were the world's dominant side, and hearing of interest from the Catalan club, Rooney admits he was very tempted to go and play with some of the world's best players.
"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," Rooney said on the UTD Podcast.
"I was thinking I could have slotted in perfectly. I could have come to the ball as well and have players running in behind. I remember thinking about that."
“I think it was well documented that Chelsea and Mourinho wanted to sign me," Rooney said.
“There was Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Man City thing keeps 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.”
Rooney played in two Champions League finals against Barcelona, in 2009 and 2011, losing both but scoring a consolation goal in the latter at Wembley.