Chinese Super League: 5 Reasons Roo should go too
1. He would be the most high-profile player in China
Not the best – the likes of Alex Teixeira, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Oscar, Paulinho and a few others would be in line for that prize – but Wayne Rooney would be the biggest name playing in China, indeed, in all of Asia.
Not to say that China is easy, but there are fewer games played at a slower pace
This is a player whose every exploit has been beamed into homes around the world for 15 years and in the past decade or so has attracted almost as many headlines in China as in his native England.
There are only a handful of clubs that can come close to competing with the profile and popularity of Manchester United in Asia. For a Chinese club to sign United's record goalscorer and captain would be a huge deal in more than one sense.
Rooney is still a genuine star all over the world. For a club like Tianjin Quanjian, Rooney's capture would be another statement of their intent during their first season in the Chinese Super League or for Beijing Guoan, it could help a title challenge.
2. He would play
Rooney loves to play and would do so for Tianjin, or any other club in the league that has not filled its foreign player quota. A star off the pitch, he would be a key player on it.
There are four less games in the Chinese Super League than in England and the cups are less onerous. The physical demands are not quite as high as at home for a team that is not in the Asian Champions League, though there are some serious away trips.
Rooney has been playing in one of the world's most physically demanding competitions since he was 16 and gives everything every game. Not to say that China is easy, but there are fewer games played at a slower pace.
A move to China would also likely end his England career and while that may be hard to take for the player, it can only be good for his career longevity.
3. The money is there
The player's financial package at Old Trafford has been well-reported and good luck to Rooney and his agent if they find a club to match that in Europe.
Now 31, it is unlikely he is going to attract the interest of Europe's elite and, if he does, it is likely he would have to take a significant pay cut.
While an emotional return to first club Everton may be tempting, if Rooney wants to earn something like the same salary he does now – or indeed more judging by some reports – then China is one of few options.
Given the size of the Chinese market, with its 1.4 billion people, he could even increase his earning power with some well-placed sponsorship deals.
It is the same for United. There would be a hefty transfer fee heading their way if their record goalscorer leaves in the next few days. If, as has been suggested, Rooney leaves at the end of the season, the Chinese money may no longer be on offer (Tianjin and Beijing could fill their foreign player quota elsewhere) or it may be substantially less.