Stoke City are reportedly eyeing a shock deal to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United in the summer.

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Stoke City are plotting an audacious move to tempt Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney to make a switch to the Bet365 Stadium in the summer transfer window.

For more than a decade, Rooney had been the cornerstone of several of Manchester United’s successful trophy-laden years. The Englishman has won every major trophy there is to win at the club level with the Red Devils, having recently laid his hands on the Europa League trophy.

On top of that, Rooney is also the all-time top goalscorer in Manchester United’s history, having scored 253 goals for the club. However, after years of being one of the first names on the team sheet for the side, the 31-year-old no longer enjoys that privilege.

A pale shadow of his former destructive self, Rooney has lost a considerable amount of pace and sharpness. And 2016/17 was arguably the worst campaign of his senior career, with the player notching up just 8 goals and 10 assists, while making a Manchester United career-low 25 starts.

However, despite Rooney being nowhere near his previously elite levels, there’s no dearth of suitors who are circling around the player, particularly in the Premier League. Stoke City are the latest club to register an interest in the Englishman, with former Manchester United player Mark Hughes – who manages the Potters – eager to sign him.

The club have received the backing of their sponsors Bet365 – the company founded by their chairman Peter Coates – who are prepared to bankroll a sensational £45 million package to tempt Rooney into making the shock move.

Time to move on? (Photo courtesy - Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Time to move on? (Photo courtesy – Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Rooney will add years of experience to Stoke’s first-team setup, and can potentially slot in behind the central striker in Hughes’ preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, in the company of pacy outlets on the flanks – Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri.

However, Stoke face a big stumbling block in their pursuit of the player, as Rooney has, time and again, insisted that he won’t play for any Premier League sides other than United and Everton, who have also been linked with the 31-year-old.

Rooney still has another year – with an option to add another year – left to run on his current deal with Manchester United, but it is likely that he will have to play a bit part role should he choose to stay. Therefore, it remains to be seen where Rooney’s future lies as speculation continues to grow around his future at Old Trafford.

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