Wayne Rooney is desperate to leave Manchester United and start a new life for his family in Barcelona, a source close to the Rooney camp has revealed.
The Manchester United forward is becoming increasingly frustrated with his current “prison-like” lifestyle which is being played out in front of the British media and is looking to move abroad to get him and his family out of the spotlight.
Barcelona is his preferred location and they are keen to pay the required £50m to get their man, due to the fact he still has almost four years left on the contact he signed in 2010.
His current relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly become so strained that the two hardly exchange pleasantries any more. The last straw came for Rooney when his authoritarian manager fined and axed him from the team that lost to Blackburn Rovers after going out for a routine meal on Boxing Day.
Although Rooney was recalled for the subsequent trip to Newcastle, his performance had clearly been affected by the troubles behind the scenes and was substituted as United lost 3-0.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is a keen admirer of the England international and is in the market for a world-class striker following the injury to striker David Villa, whose future looks to lie away from the club.
Rooney was linked with Barcelona last season too, however, it seems this time the striker’s representatives have had enough with the bad press that has followed their player around for the last five seasons, and are keen leave for Spain – in order to leave a country, whose obsession with celebrity culture has spiralled out of control.