By Pete Thompson

Stoke City are willing to take a remarkable gamble on signing Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, with the backing of the club’s sponsors Bet365 Stadium, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Potters’ manager Mark Hughes is behind the attempt to keep the 31-year-old in the Premier League.

Rooney has received lucrative offers from China and the USA, and Everton have not made any formal approach to United, despite the former England captain being linked to a possible return to his boyhood club.

It would be an ambitious move by the Midlands club, which finished 13th at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, but they do have the financial clout to offer a tempting package.

Stoke may though have a problem in persuading the star to join them. Rooney, who has one year left on his £300,000-a-week contract, plus the option of another year, has indicated that he won’t play for any Premier League other than United or Everton.

Any move to another English club could bring financial complexities if United were to force the issue, with the player being due at least £15 million in wages.

The option of an extra year could cause further complications, though one possible alternative would be for Rooney to be given a free transfer, in return for the Old Trafford club not having to pay up for the remainder of his contract.

This intriguing new twist may remain a realistic possibility until later in the summer. Rooney has said that he will be discussing all options with his wife and sons whilst on holiday, before making a decision.


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