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17th Dec 2016

Wayne Rooney was offered to Serie A side during the summer, according to agent

Wage demands got in the way

Darragh Murphy

Talks were underway in the summer for Wayne Rooney to become a Napoli player.

A former Fifa agent has revealed that the Manchester United club captain was offered to the Serie A side because he “doesn’t have a good relationship with Jose Mourinho.”

Rooney has seen his playing time limited this season and has been forced to be content with a place on the bench for several games as the United manager has struggled to find a regular starting place for the England international.

Players with more pace than Rooney have often been favoured by Mourinho, who continues to field weekly questions about the 31-year-old’s future in press conferences and interviews.

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But, apparently, he was almost rid of Rooney long before the player made headlines by being photographed drinking at ‘a wedding’ in the wee hours while on international duty.

Italian agent Vincenzo Morabito claims to have information about discussions between Napoli and Rooney’s camp, which reportedly took place last summer and saw the forward offered to the Serie A outfit.

But, as is often the case, wage demands are said to be what prevented the move from ever gathering any real momentum.

“I know for a fact that he was offered to Napoli as he can’t go to other English clubs, which could lead him to Spain and Italy,” Morabito told Radio CRC.

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“He was, I repeat, offered to Napoli. While the idea is beautiful, the reality isn’t when you look at his €10 million-a-year salary.

“He certainly doesn’t have a good relationship with Mourinho, and therefore his future is far from United, even on loan, to give them more room.”

In spite of rumours suggesting that his United days were numbered, Rooney received the public backing of Mourinho in October.

“Wayne is the captain, no matter what,” Mourinho said two months ago. “It doesn’t matter whether he is on or off the pitch.

“He is my captain and the captain of the club and the captain of the players. And that is difficult, to be the captain of everyone. So he has all the respect and all the support.

“He is a Manchester United man, he is a great professional and wants to win.”

Rooney started United’s last two games, and actually set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his second during the victory over West Brom on Saturday evening so perhaps he’s starting to win Mourinho over ever so slightly.

Only time will tell.

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