Stoke are ready to take an amazing gamble on signing Wayne Rooney — with the backing of their sponsors Bet365.
The Potters ‘ manager Mark Hughes is behind the move to try to tempt the Manchester United star to ignore offers from China and the USA and stay in the Premier League with the Midlands club.
It’s an ambitious project, but Bet365 comfortably have the financial clout to assemble a £45million package to tempt Rooney.
The UK-based online gambling company was founded by Stoke’s chairman Peter Coates and is one of the major players in the betting industry with 20 million customers in 200 countries.
They could easily afford to bankroll a Rooney move and exploit the star’s commercial appeal through that worldwide fanbase.
But they may have problems persuading the 31-year old star to buy into their project — he insisted after the Europa League final win over Ajax on Wednesday that he won’t play for any Premier League sides other than United and Everton.
Although Rooney has been heavily linked with a return to his boyhood club there has been no approach from Goodison Park to United for the record-breaking star, who has one year left on his £300,000-a-week contract plus the option of a further year.
Any move to another domestic club would have financial complexities if United force the issue to cut Rooney loose.
He would be due a minimum £15million in wages plus whatever he would be legally due if the option for the extra year is on his side rather than United’s.
That’s why boss Jose Mourinho has thrown the ball into Rooney’s court, saying it’s his decision whether he stays at the club.
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