Friday 27 January 2017

No Shanghai bids for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, says city FA

Football officials in Shanghai have denied that either of the city's Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs has made a bid for Wayne Rooney.

Rooney has struggled to hold down a regular place in Jose Mourinho's starting lineup and has been linked with a move to China during the transfer window.

He became United's record goal scorer when he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's Manchester United mark with his 250th goal for the club on Saturday.

But although Shanghai SIPG and Shanghai Shenhua have been active in the market ahead of the new CSL season, which kicks off on March 7, the Shanghai Football Association said neither was interested in acquiring the 31-year-old.

"For all we know, both Shanghai clubs in the CSL [Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG] have finished their transfer business and there is no vacancy for foreign players whatsoever," a statement said.

"The head of Shanghai FA described the report as totally groundless and fictitious.

"Both Shanghai clubs have reiterated their promise to obey new rules introduced by the Chinese Football Association [CFA] to promote the healthy and stable development of the professional football leagues."

SIPG have been on a major recruitment drive over the last 15 months, signing Brazilians Elkeson, Hulk and Oscar and Uzbekistan international Odil Ahmedov since coach Andre Villas-Boas replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Shenhua are also under new management, with Gus Poyet having brought in Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors in early January.

The Chinese Football Association issued a statement last week detailing new guidelines for clubs, including reducing the number of foreign players allowed to start games in the CSL from four to three while demanding that clubs curb spending on foreign players.

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