Describing it as a real statement of intent, Guangzhou Evergrande confirmed today that they had offered Manchester United £100m to ensure that they never have to sign Wayne Rooney.
The Chinese Super League champions have long been linked with the England captain after a series of high-profile signings from major European teams in recent years.
With the European transfer window set to shut soon, and Guangzhou eager to reinforce their squad with the best talent available, the club are confident that their offer will be accepted and that all links with Rooney will cease forever.
“Ensuring that we don’t sign someone of Wayne Rooney’s quality is a move which we believe shows the world just how serious we are about competing at the top level for years to come,” said manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, adding that while some may find the fee inordinately high, all clubs must invest large sums if they seek to improve their team.
“His movement, his touch, his passing, his speed, his vision; any club would be foolish to miss the opportunity to avoid signing him at all costs. We know all about what he has to offer, and we don’t want anything to do with it.”
At press time, Manchester United had yet to accept the offer, and were reportedly holding out for at least £50m more from the two-time Asian champions.