The 31-year-old, speaking soon after Man United’s Europa League triumph, noted that there were plenty of offers on the table and that he would make a “footballing decision” after being largely consigned to the bench by Jose Mourinho.
However, with less than two weeks until pre-season starts, Rooney’s future remains unclear, with moves to Everton or the Chinese Super League looking unlikely.
And Neville, speaking earlier this week, has made not of the importance of clarity over the captain’s future as United begin to prepare for the 2017/18 campaign.
“I am surprised it has not been dealt with,” he said.
“You don’t want that speculation to hang over a pre-season because every single press conference and media session will be clogged up with the issue of whether he is staying or going.”
“You don’t want to create voids for speculation around such big players.”
We’ve been here before with Rooney – several times. Sir Alex Ferguson, back in 2010, had to confirm that Rooney had asked to leave, creating an unnecessary media storm that culminated in the striker receiving more money. The exact same thing happened in 2013 with David Moyes.
The difference this time around, however, is that Rooney no longer feels important to Mourinho’s side. In the past his presence, even if not productive in itself, seemed to embolden those around him, but not anymore: even the staunchest admirer of the Englishman would have to admit that the striker slows down proceedings and drags United into a slumber that supporters have grown far too familiar with over the last few years.
Rooney, as Neville notes, needs to make a big decision over his future. And soon.