Wayne Rooney speaking in his UTD Podcast.

UTD Podcast: Who wanted to sign Rooney in 2010?

Wayne Rooney has set the record straight on which four clubs wanted to sign him in 2010, when the legendary Manchester United striker had a famous falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson.

At that time in October 2010, Rooney shocked the world by handing in a transfer request and for 48 hours he was football’s most wanted man, as teams from England and Spain chased his signature.

Of course, the matter concluded with Wayne signing a new long-term contract at United and he happily went on to cement his legacy at Old Trafford by becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer.

During a fascinating episode of UTD Podcast, which is available now via your favourite streaming platforms, Rooney looks back on that tumultuous period with incredible candour and admits he was wrong to question our former manager on matters that were beyond his remit. 

While Rooney was obviously delighted to stay at United and win more trophies with the club – which he points out - he admits the lure of one Spanish team was tempting for a very short moment.

UTD Podcast: When Wayne tried to leaveVideo

“I think it was well documented that Chelsea and Mourinho wanted to sign me,” says Rooney to our hosts Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and David May.

“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.

“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. Chelsea were always there as well. 

“After a couple of days, I spoke to David Gill again and when there were those protests at my house, I’d actually already agreed to sign the new contract by that time [laughs]. I was thinking ‘Jesus’, it was three o’clock in the morning and I didn’t fancy going out to calm down 20 or 30 lads with their hoods up!”

Asked which of those four clubs he favoured at the time, Rooney continues: “I think, at the time, I was looking at clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. To be honest, it was two or three days where there was communication between myself and them, or my representatives and team. 

“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 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, but the biggest thing for me was it was sorted out – I had good conversations with David Gill to get it sorted.”

UTD Podcast: The story of Rooney's transferVideo

Asked how that time affected his relationship with United supporters, Rooney says: “I don’t think it was immediately forgotten. I could feel the tension in the first few games and some fans, to this day, probably won’t get over it fully.

“I understand that. As a fan, that’s your club and I can understand that situation. From my point of view, I was getting my head down and working hard, trying to perform and score goals.”

Rooney's UTD Podcast is available now via your favourite streaming services.

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