Wayne Rooney’s Chinese career dilemma

It is the high achiever’s addiction for never-ending glory which can help explain the dilemma Wayne Rooney faced as he grappled over his footballing future this week.

Despite no longer being an automatic starter in the team, the 31-year-old said he was going to help the club “fight for success.”

Sunday could provide Rooney with an immediate opportunity to fulfill that aim when United face Southampton in the League Cup final at Wembley.

However, with just 18 months remaining on his contract, question marks over Rooney’s long-term future at Old Trafford remain and, in the summer, the China conundrum could dominate once again if he continues to play a peripheral role under manager Jose Mourinho.

Rooney needs to play regularly if he is to captain his country at next year’s World Cup. And if he is no longer first choice at United — where could he go and who could afford him?

‘You want more and more’

Over the last few weeks many a brow was furrowed as reports emerged that Rooney, already a wealthy man on a weekly wage understood to be $376,500, was tempted by the reported mind-boggling sums available in the Far East.

“Madness,” was how former United captain Roy Keane described reports that the most prolific scorer in England’s history was considering leaving Europe for China in a move which would reportedly double his earnings.

But former England defender Danny Mills, an international teammate of Rooney’s between 2003 and 2004, says the ex-Everton player’s decision was, and will be, complicated — there is light and there is shade.

“You can never have enough,” Mills told CNN in explaining why a man who already earns an estimated $2,233 an hour was listening to more lucrative offers to play in a league widely considered to be of a lower standard than that of the high-octane EPL.

Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford was in China this week, apparently trying to negotiate a deal for his…

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