Manchester United's Wayne Rooney would opt for Barcelona move?

United's Wayne Rooney celebrates equalising against Southampton on January 30, 2013
© AP Photos
Wayne Rooney would reportedly prefer a transfer to Barcelona in the summer if he is forced out of Manchester United.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney would reportedly prefer a move to Barcelona if he is shown the door at Old Trafford in the summer.

Speculation that the England international could be edging closer to a switch away from the former Premier League champions surfaced when the 27-year-old was left out of United's starting lineup for their Champions League exit against Real Madrid.

"Only time will tell if Wayne leaves United at the end of this season, but if that happens then he would love to go to Barcelona," a source told the Daily Star.

"He watches them all the time and is a massive fan. He has first-hand experience of how good they are and is a huge admirer of their brand of football. I'm sure he wouldn't be short of offers, but Barcelona are head and shoulders above the rest in his eyes."

Reports have claimed that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is growing concerned with Rooney's off-field drinking and smoking, which he believes is affecting the striker's form.

Wayne Rooney moments after missing a penalty during the FA Cup third round replay against West Ham on January 16, 2013
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