Home bird Rooney not suited to China - Phil Neville

By Stephen Creek 22 February 2017 273
Home bird Rooney not suited to China - Phil Neville

Wayne Rooney should "stick it out" at Manchester United and reject a lucrative move to the big-spending Chinese Super League, says former team-mate Phil Neville.

The England captain has been relegated to a bit-part player under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford this season and has reportedly drawn the interest of several clubs in China.

Mourinho conceded earlier this week that he does not know if Rooney will remain at United, but did insist he would never force a "legend" out of the club.

Neville believes Rooney can still have a big impact at United this season and says the club's record goalscorer may be given a chance to shine in Sunday's EFL Cup final with Southampton, especially given Henrikh Mkhitaryan was injured after scoring in United's 1-0 Europa League last-32 tie victory at Saint-Etienne.

The former United midfielder, speaking to BBC 5Live Sport after the match that secured a 4-0 aggregate win, said: "I'm not going to give him advice but what I would say to him is 'stick it out at Manchester United'.

"At the moment he's not in the team because he's got a slight knock, but Mkhitaryan has come off injured and you never know - he could come on in the final on Sunday and make a massive impact, score, and then finish the season so well.

"You've seen it so many times. I don't think he should write off his Manchester United career at this moment in time."

Neville, who finished his career with Rooney's boyhood club Everton, added that a move to China would not be a good fit for the 31 year old.

"I don't see Wayne Rooney playing football in China, I really don't," he added. "I think he's someone that's a home bird, I think he likes living in the north-west, particularly in the Liverpool area.

"He's family orientated. I can't see him taking his young family out to live in China. Culturally it's a totally different scenario out there. Yes, it's for vast amounts of money but I just don't see it at all."

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Stephen Creek