WAYNE ROONEY says he will make a decision on his Manchester United future in the next fortnight.
The club captain came on for the final minute of Wednesday night’s Europa League Final win in what seemed like a ceremonial act.
Now he admits he needs to decide whether he wants to continue playing bit part roles or take advantage of one of the offers from home and abroad.
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
But he says he would only play for one other Premier League side in this country and that’s his first club Everton.
Rooney said: “I’ve got decisions to make now over the next few weeks, have a word with my family, and then I’ll decide.
“I think, of course you want to play, you want to be on the pitch, of course. I think a younger me would have been a lot more frustrated.
“I think I understand what’s right and what’s needed for the club, and I respect that.
“Obviously I’m happy to be part of that and in some way help the club win trophies, and that’s the way it’s been over the last 18 months, last year, and that’s a decision I have to make now, whether I want to continue doing that or go on and play more regular football.
“There’s lots of offers on the table, both in England and abroad and really that’s what I have to decide on.
“I’ve played for two Premier League clubs and they’re the only two Premier League clubs I’ll play for.
“I think I just have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do that in the next few weeks with my family while I’m away and, honestly, as soon as I know what’s going on then, I’m sure you will.”
Mourinho and the United hierarchy have told Rooney they want him to stay. But after 13 years the 31-year-old clearly wants to be playing more, although he has hidden his frustration at spending so long on the bench this season.
He said: “First of all I’ve always been a team player.
“This year, I’ve never once sulked, let my head drop, I’ve understood what was best for the team, I’ve tried to help when the manager’s played me.”.
It is tough for Rooney when inside he still believes he could do a job for United as a regular starter.
He said: “You know, if you’re asking me if I’m a better player now than I was ten years ago, then obviously I’m not but I still feel I’ve got other qualities that can help the team.”
Rooney’s lack of game time has now understandably cost him his place in the England squad which was announced by Gareth Southgate without his name in it.
For the top scorer for both United and his country that must hurt.
But Rooney was still a picture of joy on Wednesday night as he lifted another piece of silverware following the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over Ajax in Stockholm.
It was not just a trophy at stake but entry back into the Champions League and now United are back in club football’s biggest competition.
Rooney said: “I think we all know how important it is for this club to be in the Champions League, so it’s a big win for us. You can say it’s a trophy but also it’s a Champions League spot.”
Rooney agreed with boss Mourinho that it was better achieving that in winning a trophy rather than just a top four spot and claims you could argue United have actually had a better season than Tottenham having won the EFL Cup as well.
He said: “Look at Tottenham, they’ve had a fantastic season, finished second, with no trophies to show for it. We’re in the same position, in the Champions League, with two trophies.”
Rooney believes Mourinho has built a resilience into United which of course extended to a 25 game unbeaten run in the league as well as these two Cup triumphs.
Ajax barely got a sniff of goal on Wednesday night.
He said: “Having this season with him, I’ve seen how he works. I think he makes us so hard to beat, and hopes we’ll get a goal or two to win the game.”
Now he accepts United have step up next season and once again be about winning the Premier League and Champions League.
Rooney said: “Yeah, of course, I think that’s where this club belongs, where it needs to be, and I certainly believe they’ve got the right man to lead them to that.”
The victory did of course come against a backdrop of tragedy following the horrific terror attack at Manchester Arena on Monday night which killed 22.
Rooney said: “I think it’s sad, it seems to be happening more and more, listen, I don’t want to get into too much about it but it’s something that I’m sure the right people will be looking at and trying to take the right actions.
“I have to pass my condolences to the families, the victims.
“It was such a sad day yesterday (Tuesday), and we all felt it as a team, as a city, and I think as a country, it was a sad moment, so to try and… obviously football doesn’t bring back the lives that are lost, but to try and hopefully give some happiness to the city was vital for us.”