Date:Thursday August 15 2013
Contrary to what the title of this article may suggest, this is not an attempt to compare and contrast the strengths and merits of Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski as forwards and goal scorers. That exercise is pointless in my mind because neither of them are ending up playing for us.
The point of this article is to describe the way both of these two men have handled their attempts to secure transfers from their present clubs to a direct rival within their domestic leagues. Going through this exercise will reveal what Rooney needs to do if he is actually serious about a touted move to Chelsea FC and why I feel he is simply using us as a means to an end.
When you study how Lewandowski handled his business it is obvious he gave his all to Dortmund last season and had a great season. Some time during that season though clearly Bayern came calling and he signed a precontract agreement with them and some money exchanged hands to seal this pact that he would be joining them when the season ended. It appears this was done behind Dortmund`s back. Much has been said about the motivations behind Lewandowski`s desire to leave the club that essentially made him a household name to essentially join the "dark empire" who already have an embarrassment of riches as far as goal scorers but it is clear that this is not about money.
Lewandowski made his intentions on his move clear the moment the bundesliga season ended and both he and his agent have clearly and audibly stated their intentions. There has been no ambiguity about this. Dortmund have understandably (after the Mario Goetze debacle) balked at this and have tried everything they can to thwart this move. Dortmund have shopped Lewandoski all over Europe seeking takers who they could sell to and so get some return on their investment in the player. Rest assured that the fact they were unable to sell him wasn`t because there were not interested parties and nor was it because they were asking for outlandish transfer fees. The stumbling block was the player. In a transfer window where all the other big names without fail essentially followed the path to the biggest pay day even if it led to the moon, Lewandowski was the one example of a player who had a single desired transfer goal and essentially stated in unequivocal terms that it would be Bayern or nothing.
By insisting he would transfer to Bayern Munich or go nowhere he forced Dortmund`s hands to keep a player with only a year left on his contract who is unwilling to renew and who they know will leave at the end of the season for free to their bitter and hated local league rival. Anyone who has seen Dortmund in their two games so far (against Bayern and Ausburg) will acknowledge that Robert Lewandowski is just going through the motions. Even when he scores the ebullience and joyous celebrations he once had are not just there. The runs he makes are no longer with the same conviction or drive. He is a professional and he is no trouble maker or whiner. He will see out his last year at Dortmund but it is obvious that his heart is in Bavaria. This is how it plays out when a player actually wants a move out of one club to another that is a local rival. That player must burn his bridges with the former club and do everything possible to secure the move. You can rest assured that when Lewandowski arrives at Bayern next year a significant part of the money Bayern have now saved by getting him on free transfer for next year his agent will arrange he gets in a very generous sign on bonus etc. Also it is interesting to note that Bayern in a show of good faith essentially let go of their no 2 striker in Mario Gomez and have got no replacement. When the Rooney to Bayern rumors surfaced early in this transfer window Matthias Sammer swiftly went on air to say in no uncertain terms that while Rooney is a "good" player Bayern had absolutely no interest in him; case closed!!
Now if you will, let us contrast this with the way the Wayne Rooney to Chelsea saga has unfolded. Since the time David Moyes made his ill advised public comments suggesting that Rooney was to be RVPs back up a lot has been written and said about Rooney`s supposed state of mind, disappointment, desire to leave etc. Please note that up till today not one word has actually been heard from Rooney himself nor his designated agent. Not a peep. Furthermore, it is obvious that unlike in the Lewandowski situation there are really no credible links to any team of substance outside of the BPL being interested in signing Rooney (probably not unrelated to his monster wages as well as the evidence of his less than stellar last season). You can rest assured that ManU would have loved for a club like Bayern, Real, Barca or the like to offer them even half of what we have offered to take him of their books but they have got absolutely no takers. Bayern and PSG were mentioned as possible targets early on and both clubs had their chief executives quickly deny any interest publicly.
Really we are the only ones who have made any bids on the guy with Wenger chiming in to say he can afford his wages (but as is typical of Wenger has not put any money down to back up his talk). ManU and their top brass have said repeatedly that the guy is not for sale to Chelsea under any circumstances and I don`t believe they are blowing hot air on this. If in fact Rooney were serious about making this move happen it is obvious what path he needs to take.
First, he needs to do the equivalent of what Lewandowski did by burning all his bridges to ManU and showing that he has one and only one target in mind to move to. To do that he needs to stop hiding behind faceless "sources" in the media and do what suarez did, namely call a press conference or speak directly to some media rag and say in no uncertain terms that he is done with united, that he wants out and that he wants to move to Chelsea FC. If he were to do that the inflicted wound on the pride of ManU would make clear that there is no way back for him. That may still not force a trade but it would put Moyes in a very terrible position of having to bench him.
The next thing he would then need to do is file a formal transfer request. Once he does this there is no way back as he essentially then clearly states that this is not about money and that he is serious about what he has said about moving. He would then forfeit loyalty related monies in his clause (which Chelsea FC can certainly reimburse him on the back end once a move in completed) and that will definetly turn the ManU fan base against him. Once that happens ManU would have only one of two options; sell him grudgingly to us or do a "tevez" and bench him while having him continue earning the highest stipend in the club. It would not make business sense but they may do that to spite him and us. His response to that should be to go through the motions of his training schedule and doing the bare minimum of his duties as a team member. If RVP should get injured they will need to call him back to the squad and it will be further embrassment for the club.
His place in the England NT is essentially sacrosanct so he need not worry about that but you can be certain that ManU benching Rooney will earn them no good marks in the books of the FA or uncle Roy especially with the World cup coming round the corner. I can assure you with SAF no longer directly in the picture and Vince Gill of at UEFA the long hallowed extra 8-12 points and referees benevolence that ManU used to enjoy will suddenly automatically disappear in the BPL campaign.
The next thing Rooney will then need to do if he is truly serious about getting out of ManU and moving to Chelsea is that come October 24 this year the moment he clocks 28 he needs to buy out the last year of his ManU contract (again the full expense to him can be arranged to be fully reimbursed to him as a sign on bonus or some other sign on clause the moment his move to Chelsea FC is complete) so that by June of 2014 suddenly his contract with ManU is done and he can move on a free transfer wherever he wants.
The above is how Rooney would act if he were serious about a move to Chelsea. Most of you here know however that he wont do any of these. This guy wants to eat his cake and have it. He certainly does not have the resolve and singleness of mind that Lewandowski does. He is simply hurt that he is no longer the top dog at United and wants to feel the love there once again. It is clear he does not want to burn his bridges there which is why he is feeding the press half truths and fiction via smoke screens rather than speaking up himself in no uncertain terms.
I can assure you that if and when he is offered some more money by ManU and is given some sort of reassurances of his playing time and importance to the team (whether this ends up being true or not) he will kiss and make up with his ManU pals and team mates and it will be back to one big happy family there (the way it was after his first tantrum of this sort). I can also assure you that if Arsenal today offered the amount they offered for Suarez to ManU for Rooney and offered to keep his salary as is, and if ManU decided to sell to them to spite us (and because they probably realize that the Gunners are really not a legitimate BPL title threat while we are) Rooney would not hesitate to move there. His faceless sources in the media have previously made it clear that he would not be opposed to a move to the gunners either. The point is that the guy has no alliegiances nor set target in this matter. He is simply a mercenary seeking who will best stroke his ego.
It is with this in mind I hope that Jose and our board are smelling the coffee and realizing that we better move on to whatever plan B they had for strengthening our striker corps. Jose has already invested a significant portion of his aura and prestige in Rooney by publicly stating "Rooney or bust". It would be nice to see the player actually publicly and verbally reciprocate this by saying clearly and equivocally; "Chelsea FC or bust" The fact that he wont do that in the open, nor take any of the other steps I have outlined above show clearly that we are to him a means to an end. It is time we stop allowing ourselves to be played and move on. There is way too much at stake here.
Date:Thursday August 15 2013
Match Day Moments - Sunderland (a) (Wednesday December 4 2013)
VIDEO: Mourinho Discounts Rivals In Title Race (Wednesday December 4 2013)
My First Stamford Bridge Visit (Wednesday December 4 2013)
Courtois - Lays Down the Conditions! (Wednesday December 4 2013)
A change of attitude? (Wednesday December 4 2013)
The Radio Face-to-Face With Mourinho! (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Chelsea Old-Boy to Sign 18 Month Deal (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Sunderland v Chelsea Preview (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Jose and 'Favoritism' (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Are we so good? (Tuesday December 3 2013)
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