United career in Roo-ins
ously close to expiring, ferguson accepted a deal of around £25mil from Real Madrid.
The giant Dutchman was voted the best defender in the Champions league for two consecutive seasons, and was still able to fetch £16.5mil when ferguson decided to get rid of him at the ripe old age of 29.
Some controversial statements in Stam’s biography, including one about ferguson making an illegal approach when the club were trying to sign him, angered the manager so much so that he was willing to sell Stam even though the only replacement he had lined up was an ageing laurent
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Another Dutchman to leave United in acrimonious circumstances was goalmachine van Nistelrooy. He was still good enough to score 33 goals in 47 games for Real Madrid in his first season after he left United, but it didn’t matter one bit to ferguson.
After a magnificent first few seasons where he just couldn’t stop scoring, van Nistelrooy began to look disinterested. He looked increasingly frustrated on the pitch, and it all came to a head when he had a training ground bust-up with Ronaldo.
ferguson left him on the bench for the last few games of that season, and on the very last game, van Nistelrooy reportedly marched out of the stadium after finding out he was being benched again.
In the wake of a scathing rant at the performances of some of his own teammates, ferguson had no choice but to let his captain go. His contract was terminated by mutual consent, but it had ferguson written all over it. Keane was already in the twilight of his career, but still, few had imagined that ferguson would remove his talismanic captain so ruthlessly.
There’s a real sense of deja vu about the current Rooney situation – United fans have seen it before with the Beckham-Real Madrid saga.
Just as it was with Beckham, Rooney’s contract is now running out with just 18 months left on it, and United are under pressure to cash in soon with clubs from Spain already hovering around him.
The longer United wait to sell him, the more Rooney’s reported £50mil value will decrease, and United are rather desperate for cash these days. The bookies already have odds out for him leaving in the January transfer window.
Also, in the months before Beckham’s shock departure, ferguson had often experimented by playing striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Beckham’s position on the right, leaving the former england captain on the bench.
ferguson seems to have started the same process with Rooney, trying out young Javier Hernandez in his place; and the latter’s goalscoring exploits against West Brom last weekend would have done no favours for Rooney. q Do you think Wayne Rooney’s already on his way out of Manchester United? Log on to Ian-ything Goes at blog.rage.com.my to tell us.