Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the week off by Jose Mourinho and will not take part in Thursday's game against Zoyra Luhansk. As this news is emerging, the Daily Star are running a story that Rooney will be in the starting XI on Thursday, but then back out of it for the visit of Stoke City on Sunday lunchtime.
If we deal with the Zlatan holiday first, it would appear on the surface Jose is managing Zlatan's fitness. We knew when he arrived that there was no way he was going to be playing in 50+ matches for the club this term, but even resting him from the team isn't going to affect him too much. A week off? That's something we saw Sir Alex do in the latter stages of management, mainly with younger stars, but I am sure the likes of Giggs and Scholes at times also benefitted from reduced responsibilites in terms of training. I remember reading at the time that Robin Van Persie, in Fergie's last season, worked a lot away from the team to manage his own injuries, so this strikes me as smart player management more than any sort of ulterior motive. If we are to see the best out of Zlatan, I think we see this sort of thing at regular intervals.
Man Utd 4-0 Leicester HT:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 24, 2016
Pass acc: 85%-69%
Chances created: 8-2
Dominant performance. pic.twitter.com/kk9D20TocY
Rooney in for Thursday night? Not unexpected, to be honest, nor is him being back out again for the Premier League game on Sunday, if that's how it goes down. I am still waiting to see what Rooney's reaction is to being dropped against Leicester. It might take a few league games where he doesn't play before he kicks off, he might still be thinking this is only going to be for a game or so. There comes a point in every great player's career that they are no longer the guranteed starter they once were.
It really feels as if this is it for Wayne. I remember feeling the same about Giggs, in about 2007. He was having stinker after stinker. But he turned it around and ended up playing another handful of years at the club and had some excellent games and contributions for us in that time. Rooney can do the same, if he chooses.
Here's our Rooney debate from last week, well worth a watch, do you think he's finished?