Neither of Shanghai’s Chinese Super League clubs have bid for Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, according to football officials in China.
Rooney, 31, has been regularly linked with a move to China this season and reports intensified after he broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record at United in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Stoke.
United manager Jose Mourinho also added fuel to the fire after opening the door for a Chinese Super League outfit to make their move for the England captain but the Shanghai Football Association has denied one of their teams have moved for the veteran.
“For all we know, both Shanghai clubs in the CSL [Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG] have finished their transfer business and there is no vacancy for foreign players whatsoever,” a statement read, via ESPN.
“The head of Shanghai FA described the report as totally groundless and fictitious. Both Shanghai clubs have reiterated their promise to obey new rules introduced by the Chinese Football Association [CFA] to promote healthy and stable development of the professional football leagues.”
SIPG have already dipped their toes into the Premier League after splashing out a staggering £60m to bring Oscar to China from Chelsea, while Andre Villas-Boas’ side also now have Hulk in their ranks. Meanwhile, Shenhua, who are managed by Gus Poyet, have signed Rooney’s former United teammate Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors.
Rooney has struggled for game time since Mourinho’s arrival and has now accepted he is no longer first choice in the team. In fact, he has started as many games as he has made substitute appearances in the Premier League this season (8) but has still managed to register more assists than any other teammate (5).