Manchester United have a new Wayne Rooney with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set for transfer exit

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Manchester United have a new Wayne Rooney in the form of David De Gea. Like the Derby boss, the Spain international’s career has fizzled out at Old Trafford. And though he’s undoubtedly a club legend, one of their best-ever players, it’s now time for him to leave when the transfer window reopens.

For many years, Rooney was a vital asset for United.

Signed from Everton in 2004, he formed a formidable partnership with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Robin van Persie – plundering the club to five Premier League titles in the process.

However, towards the end of his United career it soon became apparent he wasn’t the same player as before.

David Moyes did all he could to stop Rooney from moving to Chelsea in 2013, with the England international wanting out following Sir Alex Ferguson’s public revelation that he was keen to move on.

Yet he ended up staying, signing a bumper new contract to deal the Blues, who were managed by Jose Mourinho at the time, an almighty blow.

Except while it was seen as a wise move at the time, Rooney was never the same after signing a new contract.

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And that means his situation is now being echoed by De Gea who, after a decade of glittering service at Old Trafford, looks likely to leave when the transfer window reopens.

The Spain international only signed a mega extension back in 2019, committing his future on a big salary of £375,000-a-week.

And, much like Rooney, it was viewed as a good move from United.

They wouldn’t have to spend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first summer transfer window on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, instead being able to plan with the 30-year-old in mind.

But De Gea, much like Rooney, hasn’t been the same since.

Rooney fired United to the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League before leaving but, in truth, wasn’t a pivotal player in any of those triumphs.

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Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard stole the show in the FA Cup triumph in 2015, while the other two triumphs were achieved because of the brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – who were impressive in both finals.

Rooney was allowed to leave by Jose Mourinho because the current Tottenham boss recognised he was on the wane.

And Solskjaer now appears to have done the same with De Gea.

The Spain international was the club’s first-choice goalkeeper as recently as the goalless draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in February, keeping a clean sheet that day.

Yet, now, he’s behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order.

Henderson started every game in De Gea’s absence and, against Brighton on Sunday night, was picked over his team-mate outright for the very first time.

That’s now signalled the changing of the guard over at Old Trafford, with Henderson seen as the club’s new No 1 going forward.

And De Gea, much like Rooney, looks likely to spend the final few months of his career with the Red Devils watching on from the sidelines and being a bit-part figure.

Again like his former team-mate, he’s an undisputed club legend.

But De Gea has already taken transfer action, with his camp now looking at possible moves around Europe – with Real Madrid, PSG and Juventus already linked.

And an emotional parting of the ways seems to be on the cards the moment the transfer window reopens.

Meanwhile, United legend Rio Ferdinand has tipped De Gea to depart by saying: “You’ve got two options – you fight for your position, or you say, ‘that’s me done, I’m off and I’ll go somewhere else.’

“If Dean Henderson finishes the season as No 1, I don’t see De Gea staying there. No chance, I don’t see it. I think he’ll go out now.

“His wages will be a determining factor, but at the end of the day, two number ones doesn’t work.

“De Gea has been a mainstay in the team, but Ole is maybe seeing things differently now.

“He’s put Henderson in front of him in the queue. Does De Gea accept that and stay? I don’t think so.”

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