The Billion Pound Player: Rooney to China?

  • Rooney linked with Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG.
  • The 30 year old hasn’t featured in United’s last 6 matches due to injury.
  • Could join; Ramires, Gervinho, Alex Teixeira, Jackson Martinez, and Fredy Guarin in the CSL.


Although unlikely, it’s still a possibility. United aren’t the team of old, Rooney isn’t the player of old, and a billion pounds is surely impossible to decline?

However, with a deal looking unlikely at this moment in time, everything could change within the next few months if United miss out on the top 4 and get knocked out of the Europa League. This might lead to the dismissal of Louis Van Gaal, so would a new manager (perhaps Mourinho) persuade him to stay, or even go?

Rooney would reportedly earn £641,000 a week in Shanghai – well over double his current weekly wage of £260,000. (Medlicott, 2016)

Another factor is the business side of Wayne Rooney. He’s worth so much more than just a football player, he’s a global icon – the poster boy for Manchester United and England. As a result sponsors such as Adidas wouldn’t be in favour of the move, despite Rooney’s allegiance being with Nike – a fine example of ambush marketing.

Here’s the conversation between Morgan and Rooney on February 20th (Augustus, 2016):

“My phone rang at 11pm tonight. It was England football captain Wayne Rooney. He wanted to discuss his forthcoming Manchester United testimonial plans this summer.

But we also talked about reports in the papers this week that he’s been offered ridiculous sums of money to go and play in China for Shanghai, a team managed by Sven-Göran Eriksson.

‘It’s true,’ he said.
‘How big a salary are we talking?’
Rooney chuckled.
‘Come on,’ I prodded, ‘make me sick.’
He then revealed a figure, based on a three-year deal, so stupendously, stratospherically gigantic that it did indeed make me feel instantly nauseous. (Without giving too much away, let’s just say it included eight noughts…) I literally gasped in horror, prompting him to add a final killer blow: ‘After tax!’
‘There’s another advantage I can see,’ I said.
‘What’s that?’
‘The Chinese fans won’t realise how slow you’ve got.’
‘**** off!’

Despite the light-hearted nature of this conversation, you do wonder whether Rooney will have seriously considered this offer, and whether there’s still a plot twist to come. However, if players like PSG reserve Ezequiel Lavezzi can get a 400k a week contract with Hebei Fortune, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge of Premier League players head in that direction in the future.

Will Wood, Leeds Beckett University, Sport Marketing Student


Augustus, L. (2016) Manchester united star Wayne Rooney was offered huge deal from china!Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2016).

KICKTV (2016) Why the Chinese super league is booming. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2016).

Medlicott, P. (2016) Wayne Rooney salary four times greater than entire Manchester united squad in 1969, accounts reveal. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2016).

Minato, C. (2012) Ingenious ambush campaigns from Nike, Samsung and BMW make official sponsorships look like A waste. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2016).

The Sport Bible (2016) Wayne Rooney reveals in phone call that he received world record offer from club last summer. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2016).


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