How many Premier League clubs would find room for Wayne Rooney on Manchester United money? Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

LONDON - Wayne Rooney’s career may have reached an impasse. The interest from China does not appear to be there, and even if it was, Rooney is reluctant to move his family east.

Everton, meanwhile, have understandably balked at paying wages of £250 000 a week for a player who may not be guaranteed a first-team place. 

Even £100 000 will be a stretch. 

How many Premier League clubs would find room for Rooney on Manchester United money? A 50 per cent drop would still upset wage structures beyond the top six.

Increasingly, there is a feeling Rooney could remain with United despite his reduced circumstances.

He was a peripheral figure last season but still started 25 games and came on as substitute in a further 14. As club captain he was also part of two successful cup campaigns.

Yet staying at Manchester United presumes squad selection. What if Jose Mourinho makes it difficult, as he did for Bastian Schweinsteiger?

Both the Premier League and Champions League operate a squad system. To be available, Rooney must first be included in the squad when the season starts.

Last year, Mourinho only named two strikers in his group of 25 - Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial available through the under 21 route.

If Manchester United spend big on Alvaro Morata, and others, this summer will there even be room for Rooney?

Mourinho has remained loyal, in words at least - but with the added demands of the Champions League, he cannot afford simply to maintain Rooney’s dignity. 

And if there was no place in the squad for him, what would he do? He is far too young to retire, and surely has more to offer but may have to face financial reality.

It is less than a month until teams report back to training and he is fast running out of options.

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