BANGKOK — Unsettled forward Wayne Rooney is to return home from Manchester United’s pre-season tour — just one day after the English Premiership football club flew almost 200 players and staff out for the first leg in Bangkok.
The England forward, who has been persistently linked with a move away from the club this summer, has suffered a grade-two hamstring injury, effectively a small tear.
Rooney said on Facebook: “Gutted to have picked up a niggling injury especially as training was going so well, heading back to Manchester to have it assessed fully, but early indications are nothing to worry about.”
A statement said: “Following a scan this evening on a hamstring injury sustained in training, it has been decided that Wayne Rooney should return home immediately for further assessment and rehabilitation.
“It is anticipated he will be unavailable for selection for a month.”
Rooney will spend the next two-and-a-half weeks working on his own with medical staff at United’s Carrington training centre after breaking down with a hamstring tear just minutes into United’s first training session in Thailand.
He will now focus on being fit for the start of United’s competitive season, against FA Cup holders Wigan in the Community Shield at Wembley on August 11.
The news that Rooney has left United’s tour is sure to provoke speculation, with the player still to reveal whether he would like to remain at Old Trafford this season.
United boss David Moyes retains a firm stance, saying that Rooney is not for sale under any circumstances — although the manager has passed up repeated opportunities to confirm that the player wants to stay at the club.
On Thursday, Moyes told talkSPORT: “The club has already stated that Wayne is staying and is not for sale. I have met Wayne two, three, four times and he’s here every day. I have of course met him long before on many occasions.
Meanwhile, Monaco are showing interest in Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel who has attracted offers from Galatasaray and Trabzonspor.
Gala, where Didier Drogba is currently plying his trade have been trying to come to a deal with the Blues for the £16million central midfielder.
The anchorman joined the Blues in 2006 — signed by Jose Mourinho — after a protracted transfer saga involving Manchester United and Norwegian side Lyn Oslo.
But he may depart after six years on his first Chelsea manager’s return to the club, with the Turkish giants poised to snap him up.
The deal would see Mikel reunited with Drogba, who returned to Europe last season after leaving Chelsea for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
Mikel has four years remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge, but admitted his future is unclear while on international duty with Nigeria at the Confederations Cup.
He said last week: “I have a four-year contract with Chelsea, but you know, in football you can never guess, one day you are here, the next day you might leave.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have made an offer for Sporting Lisbon teenager Bruma, 18, who was the subject of a bizarre kidnap plot from his club’s fans this week.