Wayne Rooney has given his thoughts on why he doesn’t want to sign former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for D.C. United, questioning the veteran Uruguayan’s ‘hunger’.
The Manchester United and England legend was recently confirmed as D.C. United’s new manager following his departure from Derby County, whom he led with distinction despite the club’s relegation from the Championship last season.
The Rams were hit with a 21-point deduction in 2021/22 after the club entered administration, but under Rooney’s stewardship they battled valiantly to stay competitive for much of the campaign, before relegation to League One inevitably became a reality.
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Now in the States and back with D.C. United, whom he represented as a player between 2018 and 2020, Rooney will no doubt be eyeing up fresh recruits to bolster his squad as his side currently sit second-last in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.
One player who has been linked with a move to Washington is Suarez, who recently became a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Atletico Madrid. The Uruguayan has already admitted that he’s had several offers from MLS clubs, but Rooney has ruled D.C. United out of the running.
“I respect Luis Suarez a lot – he’s an incredible player – but what I want players who are hungry,” Rooney recently stated in a press conference.
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“I want players to come to this club who are hungry and who want to come to the club but also have a lot to give and are capable of playing every game, attending every training session.
“So we’re working extremely hard to identify the right profile of players we want to bring in and I’m sure in the near future, we’ll have an announcement to make on new signings.”
D.C. United may be out of the question for Suarez, but the 35-year-old did recently reveal that he has been in contact with multiple clubs from the United States.
He told Radio Sport: “The market in MLS is very complex, some clubs want you but they don’t have the slots, and so it would have to be for January. Other clubs want you now but I have to evaluate if they have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
“I’m not closing the door to anyone and I’ve listened to all the offers, but if some MLS teams don’t qualify for the playoffs, they end their season in the first week of October, and that’s not useful for me because I would stop for a month ahead of the World Cup, which wouldn’t be good for me.”