Wayne Rooney has joined Chinese club Shanghai SIGP in a deal worth a reported £700,000 per-week. The 31 year-old had fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford this season, and now becomes Andres Villas Boas’ second major signing following the capture of Oscar from Chelsea earlier this month.
Rooney stands to earn 1.2 Squillion Yuan (£160 million) over the lifetime of his contract, and Chinese Internet Watchdogs have already added pictures of the striker taken before his hair transplant to a list of censored topics that includes the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.
“As a lad in Croxteth, I dreamed of being a Squillionaire one day,” the former UTD captain told Soccer on Sunday. “But I’m not here for money. The chairman says I’ll be above the law in China, like an episode of Westworld. It’s a relief to know that if I shoot someone or whatever, it’ll be brushed under the carpet. The media back home would crucify you for that kind of thing.”
“People say, ‘why not stay to score 1 more and beat Sir Bobby?’,” added Rooney. “But if you Choogle Bobby Charlton over here, you get zero results. And the Chinapedia page for Jack Charlton says he was an only child. So according to the Chinese, there is no Bobby Charlton. Why would they lie?”
Andres Villas Boas insists that Rooney won’t have to fight for his place.
“I’ll pick Wayne no matter how shite he is,” the former Chelsea manager told Soccer on Sunday. “You have my word on that. Wu Lei has been a fantastic striker and captain for Shanghai over many years, but now I need him to rot on the bench while Wayne waddles around the pitch for a few years. It’s a team game.”
“Credit to Wayne,” added Villas Boas, “he wanted to know if I saw him more as a Number 10 or False 9 before he signed. I said, ‘Wayne, I couldn’t give a flying shite where you play. Go in goal for all I care. There might be a few squillion spondoolicks sloshing about, but we’re only here for a posh kickabout.'”
Rooney denies that the move to China spells the end of his international career.
“No, those are just Chinese Whispers,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “Or as we call them here, ‘Whispers’. If playing abroad means walking away from the national team, then I’m a Chinaman. Or as we say here, a ‘man'”.