Man United give Wayne Rooney a testimonial and a nudge towards retirement

Manchester United have heeded the calls of supporters and granted Wayne Rooney a testimonial, which has been scheduled for August 3 of next year. The club award testimonials to players who have served for at least a decade, so Rooney’s 11 years puts him in that category, but they usually come before a player leaves the club or retires. Given Rooney’s much discussed poor form of late, that makes the timing of this announcement a bit interesting.

From Sky Sports:

Rooney’s representatives said the club awarded the striker the testimonial following a meeting between “like-minded individuals and Manchester United fans” who wrote to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward asking that a testimonial be awarded following the player’s 11-year spell at the club.

With Rooney looking more like a footballer who just turned 40 than 30 and clogging the path forward for Man United’s younger attacking talents, could this be the club giving him a not so subtle hint that it’s time to start packing? It’s difficult to think that Ed Woodward is that clever, but Louis van Gaal might be that conniving.

Rooney is just one goal behind Denis Law for second place on Man United’s all-time leading scorers list and 13 behind Bobby Charlton, whose England scoring record he toppled last month. Van Gaal and Woodward won’t have to remind him of this, but maybe they should make it clear that his testimonial isn’t until August 3 and not every matchday until then.