Premier League

Owen: Rooney could lack options

Wayne Rooney (C) comes on for Tom Cleverley against Real Madrid.
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Michael Owen believes Wayne Rooney could find himself lacking options if he leaves Manchester United at the end of the season.

Some of the shock at Rooney's axing for the Champions League defeat by Real Madrid on Tuesday night was tempered by how the tie turned against the Old Trafford men.

But the Red Devils' performance until Nani's controversial dismissal justified Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to drop the player who slapped in a transfer request in 2010 because he felt United's squad was not good enough.

Now he is the one finding himself being eased out, with Ferguson delivering the kind of snub that is usually followed by a hefty shove through the door marked exit.

The only problem is, as Owen acknowledged, there are not many suitors out there.

"Sometimes when you're at the level he is at you don't have many options," Owen told TalkSPORT.

"If you are a mediocre player you have 20 teams in England and abroad that you can move to.

"If Wayne Rooney moves, where does he go to? Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG, there's only half a dozen teams.

"It's just speculation though. He's been dropped for one game and I'm sure he will bounce back.

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"Obviously Wayne has got to get his head down now and start recapturing his best form

"He's certainly got the right attitude and ability to get back into the manager's thoughts."

Much interest will now be focused on Ferguson's team selection for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea.

If Rooney doesn't make that, it is hard to see a way back.

Owen added: "For Rooney not to start is a real kick in the teeth and it's got to be a big worry for him.

"It's the biggest game of the season and the manager has shuffled his pack and not included him.

"Wayne will take it one of two ways.

"He will either get his head down, try and improve and force his way back into the team, or he'll think, 'the manager has not picked me for the biggest game, he obviously doesn't fancy me', and it might not be the end of the story."

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