Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has opened up on the time he nearly left the Red Devils in 2010.
Rooney spent 13 years at Man United and when he left the club in 2017, he had already become its all-time top goalscorer. The 253 goals he scored for United is still the most any player has scored for the Red Devils in its storied history.
However, Rooney could have left Man United earlier, and the former England international has now named the three clubs he nearly left United for.
"I think it was well documented that Chelsea and Mourinho wanted to sign me. 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," Rooney told UTD Podcast [via Daily Star], revealing Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona as the three clubs interested in signing him.
"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. 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 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. Chelsea were always there as well," added Rooney, who currently plays for Derby County, where he has also been named as one of four interim coaches.