x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Taxi for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney – to Paris Saint-Germain

If Rooney does leave United this summer, it must be a foreign move.

Wayne Rooney has edged closer to the exit at Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney has edged closer to the exit at Manchester United.

Wayne Rooney was spotted in the Merseyside resort of Southport this week, heralding a return to his first club Everton.

Well, he was according to my taxi driver, Phil, a rabid Everton fan with a shaky grasp on reality. Let me be quite clear on this, Phil: no he wasn't, and no he isn't.

Firstly, even if Rooney was to return to his boyhood club, modern Premier League footballers do not buy houses in Southport.

Secondly, Everton cannot afford him. Few clubs can.

This is a shame because a successful return to Goodison Park is perhaps the only way to salvage some of the fairy tale from Rooney's career, which, though glittering, has not lived up to the wild early promise.

Rooney pulling on a blue shirt and leading Everton on a magical cup run? Now that would be some Hollywood ending. Far more fun than shuffling over to Manchester City or Chelsea.

If Rooney does leave United this summer – a fate looking ever more certain, following his omission from the starting XI against Real Madrid this week – it must be a foreign move.

Both his personality and his playing style seem better suited to the crazy gang at Paris Saint-Germain than the other European giants.

Rooney teaming up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a mouth-watering prospect. Plus, Paris is a beautiful place to live: great food, culture and the wonderful Champs-Elysees, which was apparently modelled on ... wait for it ... Lord Street in Southport.

Perhaps Phil was right about spotting him there after all. He wasn't house hunting. He was just getting his bearings.

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