Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks to Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks to Wayne Rooney. Dave Thompson

Mourinho coy over Wayne Rooney's future

FOOTBALL: Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho would not speculate on the future of Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford amid reports the England captain could be headed to China as early as next Tuesday.

Mourinho did confirm the 32-year-old would not be fit enough to play in United's Europa League second-leg clash in St Etienne on Friday morning (AEST).

But when asked about the possibility of Rooney joining Carlos Tevez and Oscar in the Chinese Super League, the United manager was coy.

"You have to ask him," he said.

"Of course I can't guarantee (he will be here).

"I can't guarantee that I'm here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?"

Mourinho did insist that Rooney did not want to go anywhere, saying: "I would never push, or try to push, a legend of this club to another destiny."

The British press has been full of headlines about Rooney's potential move to China before its transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The Mirror reported that his agent, Paul Stretford, had the clearance to get United's record goalscorer a move to a Chinese club.

The Daily Mail wrote that Rooney had come to terms with the fact that his career at Old Trafford had come to an end because of his reduced role under Mourinho.

United plays Southampton in the EFL Cup final on the weekend with Rooney still not sure of a place in the squad at Wembley.

If he doesn't play, United's 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan on January 29 may be the last time he plays for the club.

Rooney would reportedly earn up to $1.6 million a week if he moves to China, taking him past Tevez (Shanghai Shenhua) as the world's highest-paid footballer.