Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney may well have played his last competitive match at Old Trafford, as Jose Mourinho admits it is ‘difficult’ to manage a player coming to the end of his career.
Rooney began his United career way back on September 28 2004, scoring a hat-trick in a Champions League match against Fenerbahce in front of the Old Trafford faithful. Since then he has gone on to make 557 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 253 goals.
But now, at the ripe age of 31, he faces the likelihood of moving on from his United career – with interest from China, MLS and boyhood club Everton.
His manager, Jose Mourinho, has hinted that he has played his last competitive game at Old Trafford; the Sun reporting that he will start on the bench for this weekend’s home match against against Crystal Palace.
Speaking ahead of the Palace game, the Portuguese manager talked about the troubles of managing players towards the end of their careers: “It’s very difficult because during my career I had this kind of situation of getting amazing players in the last period of their career.
“Sometimes, the players understand the situation. Sometimes they still feel they are 24, 25 and it’s very difficult.”
However, Mourinho did go on to praise Rooney for his attitude, speaking highly of the club captain’s behaviour, adding: “If he is frustrated, he hides it. He behaves in the best way.”
United’s only chance of Champions League football next season comes the way of Europa League victory – in which they face Ajax in the final on May 24.
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